As part of the on-going refinement of our air monitoring network, FAP has recently reduced the number of its passive monitors in our network. We now have 16 passive monitors in the Airshed, down from 47. See the revised network map for where the current passives monitors are located.
A key reason for the reduction is that our continuous air monitoring stations now provide adequate coverage of the region where FAP has focused its monitoring, including communities and other populated areas. We have a total of 10 continuous stations strategically located through the Airshed,
While passive monitors are a simple, inexpensive way of tracking monthly average concentration levels, they are only able to determine the dispersal of two substances. Since samples are only collected monthly for analysis, they cannot be used to determine immediate short-term impacts to air quality. In contrast, our continuous stations collect and record data for many substances in near real time, providing a much more robust approach to monitoring and therefore enabling a more complete understanding of local air quality.
Before removing passive monitors from the network, an in-depth review was undertaken and the recommended changes were approved by our Technical Committee that includes Alberta Environment and Parks representatives. Removed passives were considered redundant, either because they were too close to each other or because of their proximity to a continuous station. The remaining passive monitors will continue to measure concentrations of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide where we currently do not have continuous monitoring, as well as along our Airshed’s borders.