Air quality in Strathcona County
The Alberta Capital Airshed (ACA) is a multi-stakeholder organization that works with the Government of Alberta to monitor air quality and provide public information on air quality, as well as develop recommendations regarding air quality management and monitoring. Government, industry and non-governmental organizations are represented on the Board of Directors. ACA covers the portion of Strathcona County south of Highway 16.
ACA includes one of the first air quality monitoring networks in Alberta – the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA). The primary role of the ACA is to gather the information from air quality monitoring and ensuring all stakeholders, including the public, have access to the information.
Fort Air Partnership (FAP)
First established in 1997 by the City of Fort Saskatchewan and the Fort Saskatchewan Regional Industrial association, this community driven organization provides credible information on air quality. FAP continues to be a multi-stakeholder organization that works with the Government of Alberta to monitor air quality within its airshed zone. Local government, industry and members of the public are common participating stakeholders. FAP covers the portion of the County north of HWY 16.
Ambient air monitoring
Ambient air is simply outside air, or air found outside buildings or structures. Air quality levels are assigned using measured data from ambient air monitoring stations in the Capital Region. Monitoring is conducted by airsheds, municipalities, industry and Alberta Environment and Parks. Stations operated by industry are found around the Edmonton area and measure contaminants specific to the provincial approvals for each industrial operator. Ambient air quality stations measure air contaminants and calculate the provincial Air Quality Health Index (AQHI).
Air quality health index (AQHI)
In 2011, the Province of Alberta, in partnership with Environment Canada, launched the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). This tool assesses the impact of air pollution on your health, listing a number from 1 to 10+ to indicate the level of health risk associated with local air quality. The higher the number, the greater the risk, and the stronger the need to take precautions. The AQHI shares information in real-time and even provides a forecast for the next day. Data is sent from 100 air monitoring stations across the Province to a central system where information is compiled into the AQHI. You can use the AQHI to plan your activities, if levels are high risk, you may want to move your activity indoors.
The AQHI can be found in the header of our website - just look for the green leaf.
Air quality health advisories
- Alberta Air Quality Health Index
- 24-hour NRCAER UPDATELine 1-866-653-9959 provides information on industrial site activities.
- If you witness or have information about a potential environmental emergency or a complaint, contact the Alberta Environment and Parks Hotline at 1-800-222-6514. This is a 24-hour emergency line. Anonymity is guaranteed.
To bring together knowledge of the area's unique air quality pressures, a multi-stakeholder Capital Region Air Steering Committee was created. This group, consisting of municipalities, non-government organizations, airshed, industry and federal and provincial government, created a framework for future air management. The Capital Region Air Quality Management Framework enhances existing provincial and federal initiatives and regulatory processes for maintaining and improving ambient air quality and addressing the unique pressures, conditions and requirements of the Capital Region. This framework will signal a need to manage pollutants before they reach or exceed unacceptable levels.
The framework has set four levels with triggers for ambient air quality and limits for contaminants of concern. Level one is the lowest with level four being the highest concentrations. As the levels increase, Alberta Environment and Parks will work with stakeholders to develop actions to reduce the level within a set timeline.