News and Articles

High Marks Received in Recent Monitoring Network Performance Audit

Posted on November 5, 2018

The results of a provincial audit conducted of Fort Air Partnership’s (FAP) air monitoring network gives the organization high marks for performance.

Of the 52 analyzers that were audited, three fine particulate matter (PM2.5) analyzers did not meet audit requirements. Follow-up investigation by both FAP and the auditors could not duplicate or determine the cause of the issue, so these three analyzers will be re-audited at a later date.

The audit was conducted by Alberta Environment and Parks. In addition to the analyzer tests, the auditor checked 92 critical items and 56 non-critical items. Only one critical item and five non-critical items were given improvement recommendations.

“These are extremely good results that reinforce to ourselves and the public that we are continuously providing credible, high quality, local ambient air monitoring data,” said Nadine Blaney, FAP’s Executive Director. Blaney noted that the issues identified in the audit did not affect data accuracy. The items listed for improvement were dealt with as soon the audit results were received.

“It’s our policy to address any items identified for improvement as quickly as we can so that the data we produce retains its accuracy, credibility and value to the public, industry, government and researchers.”

Auditing is an important part of FAP’s comprehensive quality assurance program. In addition to these annual audits of the monitoring network, FAP conducts regular internal performance reviews and independent Quality Assurance Plan audits. FAP also performs other quality assurance activities such as challenging continuous gas analyzers with known gas concentrations daily and calibrating them monthly. FAP’s Technical Working Group and air monitoring data analyst also review data quality indicators every month. Read the audit report.

Third Quarter Air Quality Health Index Results

Posted on October 10, 2018

Fort Air Partnership (FAP), the organization that monitors the air local residents breathe, released 2018 third quarter Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results today.  The Government of Alberta calculates the AQHI using data collected at seven of FAP’s air monitoring stations.  Although many of FAP’s stations registered a historic level of high and very high risk readings in August 2018, overall air quality in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland was of low risk to health the majority of the time from July 1 to September 30, 2018.

Low risk AQHI levels were recorded at least 82% of the time during the third quarter of 2018, with Elk Island having the highest percentage of low risk readings and Fort Saskatchewan the lowest.  Risk to health increases as the index rises.  During this time period 658 hours were recorded at the high risk level across the network, and 74 hours in the very high risk level.  All high and very high risk AQHI occurrences were due to forest fire smoke, predominantly from wildfires burning in British Columbia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a comparison, results from the third quarter of 2017 are provided below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The major difference in results between the third quarters of 2018 and 2017 can be attributed to poor air quality conditions from forest fire smoke from August 7-26, 2018. During August 15-16 alone FAP stations recorded 252 hours of high or very high risk AQHI.