Fort Air Partnership (FAP) announced today plans to change the way air quality will be monitored within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and surrounding areas. FAP Executive Director Nadine Blaney said the changes will result in a better understanding of the impact of all emission sources on air quality, not just those that are regulated.
“Our move to a regional air monitoring network offers stakeholders more benefits and responds to community, government and industry needs,” said Blaney. She explained that regional air monitoring takes into consideration not only regulated industrial emissions, but also non-regulated industrial sources, as well as household, transportation, agricultural and natural sources.
“It’s important that the data we collect and provide is data people need now and in the future to make good air quality management decisions.” The new plan aligns with Alberta and Canada’s transition to cumulative effects monitoring and management.
In addition to regional air monitoring, the plan calls for more monitoring where people live and tracking the impact of emerging local issues like new oil and gas wells, and regional industrial and residential development. Over the next several years, FAP plans to add two continuous monitoring stations; relocate two others; increase sampling of Volatile Organic Compounds around oil and gas wells and other locations; eliminate monitoring that is redundant; and upgrade technologies.
Implementation will depend on getting funding support from the provincial government and other sources, noted Blaney. A few changes have already been put in place, such as upgrading network data collection software.