News and Articles

New Report Provides In-Depth Review of Chipman Air Quality

Posted on October 20, 2020

Data collected during a year-long air monitoring project indicates air quality is of low risk to health 98.6% of the time for Chipman and area residents. Fort Air Partnership’s (FAP) portable air monitoring station operated in the Village of Chipman from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020.

The 98.6% Chipman low risk to health Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) rating was a slightly better percentage than the four FAP community stations used for comparison in the report. Less than two per cent of the time the AQHI at Chipman was in the moderate risk category. There were no high or very high-risk hours recorded.

Since the AQHI is a measurement of air quality as it pertains to human health, five substances that represent a standard suite of parameters for a community AQHI station were monitored. Chipman had the lowest monthly Particulate Matter (PM2.5) averages in the FAP Airshed for the majority of the project term. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels at Chipman were generally lower than levels recorded at other communities within FAP during the wintertime but were otherwise very similar to other stations.

For Ozone (O3), Chipman did not differ substantially from levels recorded at other communities within the Airshed, with all monthly averages being within three parts per billion (ppb) of those recorded at Chipman. Similarly, Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) levels at Chipman did not differ substantially from levels recorded at other communities within the Airshed, with all monthly averages being within 0.8 ppb of the averages recorded at Chipman. As well, Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) levels at Chipman did not differ substantially from other FAP communities where H2S is monitored.

Regional events such as wildfires and wintertime temperature inversions affected air quality in Chipman in the same way as with other communities throughout FAP’s Airshed, albeit at a slightly lower level. The PM2.5 exceedances recorded in Chipman on June 1, 2019 and January 25, 2020 both occurred during events that affected the entire region.

Read the report…

Third Quarter Air Quality Results Show Low Health Risk

Posted on October 8, 2020

Our 2020 third quarter Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results show that for the vast majority of time the risk to health to local residents was low. The Government of Alberta calculates the AQHI using data collected at seven of FAP’s air monitoring stations. 

There was only one hour of high AQHI and no very high risk hours during the quarter. The attributed cause for the high AQHI reading was the burning of residential yard waste near the station in Gibbons. Overall air quality in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland was of low risk to health more than 99% of the time from July 1 to September 30, 2020. The air monitoring station at Gibbons recorded the most hours of moderate or high AQHI results while Redwater recorded the least.

As a comparison, here were the results from the third quarter of 2019.

The major difference between last year and this year is Q3 of 2020 saw 62 more AQHI moderate risk hours and one high risk hour. The increased number of hours is largely due to particulate matter contained in smoke that drifted into the region in mid to late September from U.S. wildfires. Click here for the Q3 2020 summary report including exceedances.