Across the country, annual Clean Air Day events were held in June to raise awareness and encourage action that will improve the air we breathe and the health of our communities.
In 2015 in the hamlet of Ardrossan, a partnership initiative was celebrated between the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) and Strathcona County that promises to keep air quality on the radar for many years to come.
“The new Ardrossan Air Quality Monitoring Station is a state-of-the-art facility that monitors air quality in the region as well as long-term trends,” says John Prusakowski, Suncor Edmonton Refinery vice president and SIA Board President. “Local community members now have even more up-to-date air quality and health information at their fingertips.”
The new station helps address an identified gap in monitoring for the growing population in the County, east of Sherwood Park.
“Air quality in Strathcona County must support the health and well-being of our citizens,” says Strathcona County Mayor Roxanne Carr. “This partnership is a great example of industry voluntarily expanding important measuring and monitoring systems.”
SIA has been actively contributing to improved environmental performance and monitoring in east Edmonton and Strathcona County since 1974. The association is comprised of 12 member companies (Suncor being one of the founding members) that share a commitment to environmental performance, safety and the well-being of the communities in which they operate as responsible industrial neighbours.
Air monitoring stations
Over the last four decades, SIA has built a robust ambient air quality monitoring network in the region. The new Ardrossan site will complement SIA’s existing stations located in Sherwood Park, Gold Bar and Beverly.
Using continuous monitoring (readings taken every second, 365 days/year) and intermittent monitoring (sensors exposed for 24 hours every six days), these stations collect information pertaining to:
- hydrogen sulphide
- sulphur dioxide
- oxides of nitrogen
- total hydrocarbons
- particulate matter levels in the air
- wind speed
- wind direction
This information is shared on the Alberta Capital Airshed website and used to inform the region’s Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). For more information about SIA’s Air Quality Monitoring Network, visit www.sia.ab.ca.