Author Archives: CRAZ

The Calgary Region Airshed Zone enjoys collaborating and learning from all the Airsheds in Alberta. This blog post was written by Fort Air Partnership which encompasses Lamont County, Fort Saskatchewan, Bruderheim, Gibbons, Elk Island, and Redwater.

Cold Weather Impacts Air Quality
Most of the time, local air quality in the Fort Air Partnership (FAP) Airshed is of low risk to health as indicated by the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). However, the AQHI rating can rise to a medium or high health risk when there is an occurrence of a weather phenomenon called a temperature inversion.
Normally, warm air sits near the ground and air rises easily, carrying away polluting substances. During a temperature inversion, cold air is trapped near the ground by warm air several hundred meters above it. The warm air acts like a lid and polluting substances can’t rise and disperse as readily. This leads to a higher AQHI rating. Some sources of polluting substances, like industrial emissions and wetlands, stay fairly constant throughout the year no matter what the season. But in the winter, fireplaces, wood stoves, home heating and idling vehicles contribute to higher concentrations. A temperature inversion traps a build-up of these substances near the ground until wind, a snowstorm or some other weather change sweeps them away. Fortunately, temperature inversions that cause high or very high AQHI ratings are rare. In our Airshed, only six hours of high or very high AQHI ratings due to inversions were recorded throughout 2017.

What you can do?
People can reduce their impact on air quality by not idling vehicles when parked, avoiding excessive fireplace or wood stove use, and using energy efficient products. People can also keep track of current and forecast local AQHI levels on our website and, if levels are high, adjust their outdoor activities accordingly.

Fort Air Partnership 2017 Results & Five Year Trends Released
Our 2017 regional air quality monitoring results show that FAP’s six stations that collect data used to calculate an hourly and forecast Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland registered low risk readings most of the time.
In total across the network, 43,014 hours of AQHI readings were recorded in 2017. Of that total, 57 hours (or less than 0.2% of total hours monitored) were in the high or very high risk AQHI category. These were due mainly to forest fire smoke or winter temperature inversions.
During 2017, there were 146 occasions across FAP’s nine monitoring stations where air quality measurements exceeded Alberta’s Ambient Air Quality Objectives. Two-thirds (67%) of these exceedances involved high concentrations of Respirable Particulate Matter (PM2.5). The PM2.5 exceedances were caused mainly by forest fire smoke and winter temperature inversions.
Five year trends of both AQHI and exceedances show fluctuations. This can be attributed to variances in annual seasonal events like forest fires, weather patterns and FAP’s transition over the last five years to a regional monitoring network that more accurately monitors air quality where people live.

For more information on Fort Air Partnership,

The Calgary Region Airshed Zone is proud to join the Alberta Airshed Council (AAC) in promoting the 2018 National Sweater Day on February 8th. Join in the fun and post a wearing a sweater @Calgaryairshed @Albertaairsheds #sweaterday #ABairmatters #cleanair Here is the great post be AAC: National Sweater Day is a fun way to think… Continue Reading

The Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) is celebrating 10 years of monitoring and providing education on air quality for Calgary and region. CRAZ is a non-profit association with members from government agencies (federal, provincial, and municipal), non-government organizations, industry and the public. The CRAZ vision since 2007 has been to have air quality that is… Continue Reading

The Calgary Region Airshed Zone held a Workshop on the Dust effects on Human Health on November 21st, 2017. Thank you to all that attended the workshop.  The presentations were informative and engaging. To view the presentations:   Please contact if you would like more information on presenters or DUSTOUT product information. Continue Reading

On November 21st, 2017, The Calgary Region Airshed Zone is pleased to be working with Vulcan County to bring a new workshop on Air Quality to the region.  The workshop will have presentations on dust effects of human health, what is dust and what are airsheds and their responsibilities to Albertans.  Everyone is welcome to… Continue Reading

CRAZ has several committees that each provide different expertise in managing our region’s air quality.  The Technical Committee oversees the network of monitoring stations (continuous, passive and mobile) and reviews the data each month to make sure the stations are operating properly and to check for any air quality problems.  CRAZ works closely with Alberta Environment… Continue Reading

A Simplified Guide To Wildfire Smoke The Calgary Region Airshed Zone with Alberta Health Services, the City of Calgary, and Alberta Airsheds Council has produced a Simplified Wildfire Smoke Guide.  This document was created with the 2017 wildfires in mind.  Protecting our children, older adults and the public is very important to all contributing to… Continue Reading

“Take a big breath of fresh Alberta air. Aren’t we lucky to have good air to breathe?” Lindsay Adams, Elbow Valley Elementary principal opened a special clean air assembly for 275 grade three and four students. The students were keen to see the launch of a new Alberta Airsheds Council (AAC) video that was filmed… Continue Reading

The Calgary Region Airshed will be hosting the AGM on June 6th at Ralph Klein Park. Keynote Speaker will be Deputy Minister Andre Corbould, Alberta Environment and Parks. Thank you to our sponsors: AGAT Labs, WSP Canada, and Lafarge. For more information please contact Continue Reading

In October, 2016, Wheatland County adopted an environmental policy committing the municipality to being a leader in environmental accountability, which to us, means taking responsibility for municipal actions that may impact the environment. The four keys to implementing this commitment are: balancing the environment with the social and economic needs of the community; leading by… Continue Reading