Fort Air Partnership (FAP), the organization that monitors the air local residents breathe, released 2019 second quarter Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results today. The Government of Alberta calculates the AQHI using data collected at six of FAP’s air monitoring stations. Although most of the province was affected by smoke from wildfires burning in northwestern Alberta from May 30 to June 1, overall air quality in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland was of low risk to health the majority of the time from April 1 to June 30, 2019.
Low risk AQHI levels were recorded at least 89% of the time during the second quarter of 2019, with Lamont County having the highest percentage of low risk readings and Redwater the lowest. Risk to health increases as the index rises. During this time period, 81 hours were recorded at the high risk level across the network, and 29 hours in the very high risk level. High and very high risk AQHI occurrences were mainly due to smoke, predominantly from wildfires burning in northwestern Alberta.
From May 30 to June 1, air monitoring stations in the entire Edmonton Metropolitan Region, including FAP, measured the highest levels of particulate matter ever recorded in the area. FAP’s Redwater station recorded a level 19 times the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objective.
As a comparison, results from the second quarter of 2018 are provided below.
*FAP’s portable station was operational in Bon Accord from April 12, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
The major difference in results between the second quarters of 2019 and 2018 can be attributed to poor air quality conditions from wildfire smoke from May 30 – June 8, 2019. Read the complete Q2 2019 Monitoring Results.