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Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in Southern Alberta

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By: Frauke Spurrell
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

Published in: Environment
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Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in Southern Alberta

  1. 1. Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in Southern Alberta November 19, 2014 Frauke Spurrell Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
  2. 2. Presentation Overview • What is ambient air quality? • Why do we monitor ambient air? • What is monitored? • Who conducts air monitoring? • How is ambient air monitored? • Where is the monitoring conducted? • What is the data showing us? • Research and special studies 2
  3. 3. What is ambient air quality? • Ambient air quality refers to the quality of outdoor air in our surrounding environment • Air quality can be quantified by concentrations of substances identified through monitoring – It is typically measured near ground level, away from direct sources of pollution 3
  4. 4. What is ambient air quality? • Types of emission sources impacting air quality include: – Anthropogenic • Transportation (motor vehicles, rail, air) • Heating (residential, commercial, wood burning) • Industry (oil and gas, forestry, construction, electrical generation, aggregate etc.) • Agriculture (confined feeding operations, tilling) – Biogenic (vegetation) – Natural events (forest fires, grass fires) 4
  5. 5. Why do we monitor ambient air? • To ensure there is no adverse effect from licensed activity emissions (industry) • To provide information for the management of cumulative effects 5
  6. 6. Why do we monitor ambient air? • To provide assurance to stakeholder communities • To provide a tool for the community to ‘plan a healthy day’ 6
  7. 7. What is monitored? • Any compound that is measurable and is known to have impact on the ecosystem and human health • Measured concentrations are compared to Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAAQOs) and/or Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) – AAAQOs are developed under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) for all of the province to protect Alberta’s air quality – Objectives are based on an evaluation of scientific, social, technical, and economic factors 7
  8. 8. What is monitored? • An example of what is monitored at the Lethbridge ambient air monitoring station 8 Carbon Monoxide Wind Speed Sulphur Dioxide Wind Direction Hydrogen Sulphide Std. Dev. of Wind Direction Nitric Oxide Outdoor Air Temperature Nitrogen Dioxide Relative Humidity Total Oxides Of Nitrogen Ammonia Total Hydrocarbons Non-methane Hydrocarbons Methane Ozone PM2.5 Mass Air Quality Health Index
  9. 9. Who conducts ambient air monitoring? • Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) • Alberta Airshed Organizations • Industry • Environment Canada 9
  10. 10. How is ambient air monitored? 10 • Permanent monitoring can be: – Continuous • Near instantaneous measurements • Costly due to capital and operating costs • Require power and road access Image source: FOCUS Corp
  11. 11. How is ambient air monitored? 11 Image source: PAS www.palliserairshed.com Image source: PAMZ www.PAMZ.org • Or permanent monitoring can be: – Passive • Long-term measurements (monthly) • Portable, user friendly, cost effective
  12. 12. How is ambient air monitored? 12 • Temporary monitoring can include: – Mobile Air Monitoring Laboratory (MAML) – Portable Air monitoring (PAML) – E-BAM (Particulate matter) – Air Pointer – Canister (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  13. 13. How is ambient air monitored? • If data is supplied to ESRD/AEMERA: – monitoring must follow requirements in the Alberta Air Monitoring Directive (AMD) • Ensures consistency, use of proper technology, siting requirements etc. • Allows for quality assurance and comparability of data 13
  14. 14. How is ambient air monitored? • Data from the AEMERA and airshed stations are submitted to the CASA Data Warehouse • Industry submits data directly to ESRD or Alberta Energy Regulator 14 http://www.casadata.org/
  15. 15. Source: Ambient Air Monitoring Network Assessment of The South Saskatchewan Region, 2014 STI Technologies (http://esrd.alberta.ca/air/reports- data/documents/AmbientAirMonitoringSouthSaskatchewan-2014.pdf) Where are the ambient air monitoring stations in Southern Alberta? 15
  16. 16. What is the data showing us? 16
  17. 17. What is the data showing us? 17
  18. 18. What is the data showing us? 18
  19. 19. What is the data showing us? 19
  20. 20. Research: Monitoring Network Assessment for Southern Alberta • The existing network was analyzed to identify whether the monitoring objectives are being met • Monitoring objectives included: – monitoring for Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAAQO) and Environment Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) compliance – National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) program and Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) reporting requirements – implementation of regional plans and cumulative effects – management needs: identification of pollutant trends and spatial distributions etc. 20 Study available at: http://esrd.alberta.ca/air/reports-data/documents/AmbientAirMonitoringSouthSaskatchewan-2014.pdf
  21. 21. Research: Monitoring Network Assessment for Southern Alberta • Data used for analyzing a monitoring network: – Measured concentrations – Emissions (industrial, urban, biogenic) – Area, topography, land-use – Existing stations – Population 21
  22. 22. Research: Monitoring Network Assessment for Southern Alberta 22 Optimal network suitability map for monitor placement
  23. 23. Research: Emissions modelling • In areas without monitoring data concentrations can be predicted through modelling – Air Quality Modelling Exercise using Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Model for Southern Alberta • 2006-2008 base case year with 2020 and 2050 future predictions • Modelled: O3, PM, total VOCs, NO2, SO2, NH3, CO, wet and dry deposition Study available at: http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/8875.pdf AAAQOCMAQ estimated NO2 Concentrations 2006-2008 CMAQ estimated future NO2 Concentrations 2020
  24. 24. Thank-you! 24

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