Acid Deposition Monitoring Program

What is Acid Deposition?

Acid deposition, a form of which includes acid raid, involves the fall of acidic components from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface. This environmental concern arises mainly from the emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which transform into acidic compounds in the atmosphere and precipitate back to the ground. 

In 2022, LICA developed an Acid Deposition Monitoring Strategy for the Cold Lake Region. Click below to download a copy.

How is Acid Deposition Monitored?

  1. Measuring Precipitation Acidity: Regular collection and analysis of rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation to determine their pH levels and chemical composition.
  2. Atmospheric Pollutant Tracking: Monitoring the air for SO2, NOx, and other pollutants that contribute to acid deposition.
  3. Dry Deposition Assessment: Some acidic components deposit in a dry form (gases and dust particles). Monitoring these is crucial for a full understanding of acid deposition impacts.
  4. Ecosystem Impact Studies: Investigating how acid deposition affects soils, water bodies, plants, and animals.
  5. Data Analysis and Modeling: Using collected data to understand trends, geographical distribution, and future projections of acid deposition.

What is LICA doing about acid deposition monitoring?

In 2021, LICA initiated a structured, phased expansion of our Acid Deposition Monitoring Program. The first phase (2021-22) involved developing a detailed monitoring strategy. This was followed by the second phase (2023-24), where we focused on implementing the monitoring strategies. From 2025 onwards, we’ve committed to continuously improving and refining the program, ensuring it remains effective and responsive to the evolving environmental landscape.

Overseeing this work is the Acid Deposition Monitoring Expansion Committee (ADMPEC), a working committee that exemplifies LICA’s commitment to collaboration. Comprised of stakeholders from industry, government, indigenous communities, and the general public, the ADMPEC brings together a wide array of insights, expertise, and support, ensuring that our acid deposition monitoring program is both comprehensive and effective.

The pathway of acid deposition in our environment involves: (1) Emissions: The release of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into the air. (2) Transformation: These pollutants transform into acidic particles in the atmosphere. (3) Deposition: The acidic particles descend to the earth as wet (rain, snow) and dry (dust) deposition. (4) Impact: These particles potentially cause harmful effects on our soil, forests, streams, and lakes. Adapted from USEPA 2021.