News and Articles

Long-term Data Trending and Comparison Report Released

Posted on May 13, 2019

Fort Air Partnership (FAP) has released a new Data Trending and Comparison Report that provides important information about how annual averages of five key substances that affect local air quality have changed over time in our Airshed and elsewhere.

Substances included in the report include fine particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone. All of these substances, with the exception of ozone, are referred to as Criteria Air Contaminants by the Government of Canada’s Environment and Climate Change department. Criteria Air Contaminants are classified as such because they contribute to smog, poor air quality and acid rain. Ozone was also included in the report since it is a substance that has an established Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standard and is used in the calculation of the Air Quality Health Index.

Data for some of the five substances show notable changes from year to year that can be tied to major natural events like wildfires. Other substances show changes over a longer period of time, which can be attributed to the introduction of environmental policies or the application of new technologies.

“Annual average trends for the five substances measured within FAP’s Airshed are comparable to or lower than most other Alberta and international jurisdictions used for comparison in the review,” noted Executive Director Nadine Blaney. She added FAP prepared this report to increase public understanding and awareness of Airshed air quality trends. “It is part of our mandate to be transparent and share credible and objective ambient air quality data in as many ways as we can.”

The Alberta and international jurisdictions were chosen for comparison because they represent a variety of urban population sizes and industrial density. Validated data were used to compile and compare information within the report.

 

First Quarter 2019 Air Quality Health Index Results

Posted on April 10, 2019

Fort Air Partnership (FAP), the organization that monitors the air local residents breathe, released 2019 first quarter Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results today. The Government of Alberta calculates the AQHI using data collected at FAP’s air monitoring stations. Results show air quality in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland was of low risk to health the majority of the time from January 1 to March 31, 2019.

AQHI at FAP’s seven stations registered low risk readings at least 73% of the time, with Lamont County having the highest percentage of low risk readings and Fort Saskatchewan the lowest. Risk to health increases as the index rises. None of the stations recorded hours in the very high risk range while only 66 hours were recorded at the high risk level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The difference in results between the first quarters of 2019 and 2018 can largely be attributed to wintertime inversions seen at various times throughout the quarter.  A wintertime inversion is a weather condition where cold air along with pollutants is trapped near the ground by a layer of warm air above it.

During Q1, 2019 there were 19 one-hour exceedances and 20 24-hour exceedances of Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAAQO). All of the exceedances involved Respirable Particular Matter (PM2.5). See the full summary of Q1, 2019 Air Monitoring Results.