The Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) is excited to announce on October 1st, 2018 we will begin deploying a portable monitoring station (PAML) in communities within the CRAZ region to conduct continuous ambient air quality monitoring. An objective of CRAZ is to monitor air quality in the areas that have little or no previous monitoring and support CRAZ’s long-term strategy for ambient air quality monitoring. The PAML will remain at each location for a six-month period and will gather high quality data enabling it to produce a snap shot of air quality, as well as an air quality health index (AQHI) for the location. Continuous monitoring is the preferred method of monitoring by Airshed Zones and Alberta Environment and Parks.
In addition to conducting continuous monitoring, CRAZ will be offering community engagement and education programs. These programs will inform the public about what the data means, why do we care, what air quality means to human health, explanation of the AQHI and what actions we can do to care for our air.
The CRAZ region overall enjoys a very high level of air quality; demonstrated by over seven years of uninterrupted baseline data gathered by the CRAZ passive monitoring program. The passive monitoring program provided an average air quality value for each month. To identify potential future changes in air quality while our region continues to develop, CRAZ will continue its monitoring efforts by shifting to a six-month regional ambient monitoring program. Data will be compared to the existing historical data to assess whether there are measurable differences in the air quality for NO2 and SO2.
CRAZ is excited to move into this new phase of the monitoring program and will continue to connect with its stakeholders on science-based findings in an objective manner.
At CRAZ, we care about the air!
Who is CRAZ?
The Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) is a non-profit air monitoring group geographically situated in southern Alberta; the region includes the municipality of Banff and Kananaskis County to the west, the southern rural RM’s of Black Diamond and Turner Valley, and the eastern agricultural Wheatland County – with Alberta’s most populous city, Calgary at its center.
Why is the passive network being suspended?
Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) prefers continuous monitoring methods over passive methods and has no longer committed funds to the CRAZ passive network.
How long will the PAML be in each location?
The Portable Ambient Monitoring Lab (PAML) will rotate between the proposed locations on a 6-month basis to provide air quality data on seasonal variability. At each location, air quality data will be collected during the deployment.
What is the criteria for the PAML location?
The PAML deployment locations were selected to address the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) data gaps identified by the CRAZ network assessment. When the PAML is onsite, an AQHI for that area will be posted in real-time on the CRAZ website, home page under PAML AQHI.
The schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen environmental circumstances.
Who decides where the PAML is deployed?
The CRAZ Technical committee (air quality specialists from Industry, government and non-government agencies and members of the public), with approval from the CRAZ Board.
What is an Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)?
The AQHI is a public health tool reported on a scale from 1 to 10+, the lower the number, the lower the health risk. The Index has corresponding health risk categories and provides advice to the general population and at-risk audiences on how to lessen risk based on those categories.
What does community engagement mean?
Community engagement to CRAZ means answering questions about air quality data and teaching the public why we care and what actions we can all take to protect our air. These programs can run in a variety of settings including: information open houses, town hall meetings, community association talks, classroom projects, anti-idling campaigns for municipalities and/or industries. Do you have an idea for your municipality/industry/public session? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I find more information on monitoring and real-time data?
Monitoring and real-time data can be found on the craz.ca/monitoring
What is the Particulate Matter and Ozone Management Plan?
The development of this Particulate Matter and Ozone Management Plan (PM and O3 Management Plan) is an action related to the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) Particulate Matter and Ozone Management Framework. This framework is based on the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) and ozone (O3). PM and O3 were selected by the CCME as the first contaminants to be managed because both pollutants have significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.
The plan can be found at http://craz.ca/documents/#Documents%2FPMO3-Management-Plan%2FPMO3%20Management%20Plan
For more information please visit CRAZ at craz.ca
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