Air quality is an indicator of how clean our air is. This is determined by the rate at which pollutants are emitted into the atmosphere and how effectively the atmosphere can disperse those contaminants. This is affected by wind (speed and direction), temperature (at various heights) and turbulence, with local topography (e.g., valleys and hills) having an impact on each of those.
Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)
Hydrogen sulphide is a colourless gas with a rotten egg odour. Some sources of hydrogen sulphide include:
- natural gas processing plants,
- petroleum refining, and
- animal feedlots.
- Wind speed (WS) at 10 metres
- Wind direction (WD) at 10 metres
- Relative Humidity
- Barometric Pressure, and Rainfall.
Ground-Level Ozone (O3)
In the stratosphere ozone prevents the sun’s harmful UV-B radiation from reaching the earth’s surface, but at ground level, ozone is a major component of smog. Natural processes can greatly influence ground-level ozone concentrations.
Nitrous Oxides (NO)
Nitrogen oxides are produced during both natural and industrial processes, including:
- bacterial processes,
- forest fires,
- power plants,
- oil and gas processing facilities, and
- other industrial sources.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
PM2.5 are particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter. They are small enough to penetrate the lungs and originate from sources like:
- soil dust,
- road dust,
- agricultural dust (e.g., harvest),
- smoke from forest fires and recreational wood burning,
- vehicle exhaust emissions, and
- industrial emissions.
- vehicle exhaust emissions,
- industrial emissions, and
- wood burning.
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
Sulphur dioxide is a colourless gas with an irritating odour and taste. Major sources of sulphur dioxide are:
- natural gas processing plants,
- oil sands plants,
- petroleum refineries, and
- coal-powered electric power generation facilities.
HOW WE MONITOR
Continuous monitoring stations provide up-to-the-minute measurements of ambient concentrations of man-made and natural emissions, including sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, reduced sulphur compounds, ozone, oxides of nitrogen, total hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.
Passive monitoring stations follow a township grid distribution pattern and samples are analyzed monthly - ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide are sampled for in the passive monitoring network.
Sampling for volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is carried out at selected locations. 24-hour integrated samples are collected every six days in accordance with the National Pollutant Surveillance (NAPS) program; hundreds of compounds can be detected using this method.
LICA’s soil acidification monitoring supplements the Alberta Environment and Water soil acidification monitoring program.
|Passive Monitor: Sulphur Dioxide||Passive Monitor: Nitrogen Dioxide|
|Passive Monitor: Ozone||Passive Monitor: Hydrogen Sulphide|
|Continuous Monitor: Sulphur Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulphide, Oxides of Nitrogen, Total Hydrocarbons, Meteorology.|
|Continuous Monitor: Sulphur Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulphide, Oxides of Nitrogen, Ozone, Methane/Non-Methane Hydrocarbons, Particulate Matter, Meteorology.|
|Continuous Monitor: Sulphur Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulphide, Oxides of Nitrogen, Ozone, Total Hydrocarbons, Particulate Matter, Meteorology.|
|Continuous Monitor: Sulphur Dioxide, Total Reduced Sulphurs, Oxides of Nitrogen, Ozone, Total Hydrocarbons, Particulate Matter, Meteorology.|
|Polycyclic Aromatic and Speciated Hydrocarbons: Routine 1-in-6 day samples.|
|Polycyclic Aromatic and Speciated Hydrocarbons: Routine 1-in-6 day samples. High non-methane hydrocarbon triggered samples.|
|Soil Acidification Monitoring Plot: pH, Soil Texture, Electrical Conductivity, Soluble Ions, Cation Exchange Capacity – Buffered,/Unbuffered, Exchangeable Cations, Total Carbon, Total Nitrogen, Total Sulphur, Available Ammonium, Available Nitrates, Available Phosphorous|
|Surface Water Acidification Assessment: 3rd Party Monitoring/Sampling|
Passive Stations 1. Sand River 2. Therien 3. Flat Lake 4. Lake Eliza 5. Telegraph Creek 7. Muriel-Kehewin 8. Dupre
9. La Corey 10. Wolf Lake 11. Foster Creek 12. Primrose 13. Maskwa 14. Ardmore 15. Frog Lake
16. Clear Range 17. Fishing Lake 18. Beaverdam 19. Cold Lake South 20. Medley-Martineau 21. Fort George 22. Burnt Lake
23. Mahihkan 24. Hilda Lake 25. Town of Bonnyville 26. St. Lina 27. Portable Station (discontinued)
LICA generates different reports to provide air quality information to our stakeholders.