Managing Environmental Impacts Is an Ongoing and Inclusive Effort
In the Capital Region (which includes Alberta’s Industrial Heartland) the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) indicate that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) may be presenting a challenge for our long term air quality. Natural events such as forest fires, as well as factors such as vehicle exhaust pollution, industrial emissions and urbanization all affect air quality. More specifically, we know that reactions in the atmosphere with oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from vehicle emissions, home heating emissions and industrial emissions are the primary cause of the fine particulate matter in our region.
Maintaining clean air in our region is a shared responsibility with those who have an impact on our air. That includes industry and individuals. Local industry is working with the province and other stakeholders to understand and manage this issue. The focus of that work for industry is looking at NOx emissions and identifying opportunities to reduce those emissions over time either through process improvements or technology upgrades.
The North Saskatchewan River is very important to our wellbeing and way of life. With that in mind, it is important to manage what we put into the river to ensure that the river ecosystem continues to be healthy for many years to come. Local industry has a shared interest with government in maintaining or improving water quality in the North Saskatchewan River. Both municipalities and industry (who discharge to the river) within the Capital Region have been working with the province and other stakeholders to complete very detailed effluent characterization studies. Those studies are nearing completion and the results from that work will help us to identify opportunities for improvement that are necessary to maintain the health of the river ecosystem.