WBEA Air Monitoring

The WBEA has monitored and reported air quality in northeastern Alberta since 1997. The WBEA is one of the 10 air sheds in Alberta that report hourly air monitoring data to the Alberta Environment and Parks Airdata Warehouse. WBEA’s Ambient Air Technical Committee (AATC), composed of representatives from our member organizations, sets the strategic direction for air monitoring in the region. Science advisors provide advice to the committee on operations and new technologies.

The WBEA operates a total of 25 permanent industrial, community, background, or meteorological air monitoring stations. Portable monitoring stations provide incident based or short term air quality monitoring.

For more information on the Ambient Air Technical Committee, please contact the WBEA.

Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives

Alberta’s Ambient Air Quality Objectives define the desired environmental quality that will protect public health and ecosystems. Alberta Environment establishes Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAQO) under section 14(1) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).

Click to view the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives & Guidelines

Exceedences of Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives

When ambient concentrations of any air pollutant WBEA measures exceed the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objective, WBEA has an immediate Reporting Protocol that is put into action. WBEA analyzers continuously monitor ambient air, and in the event of an exceedence, the following steps are taken:

  1. The data collection system automatically sends out alarm notifications to WBEA personnel and an independent third-party alarm monitoring company.
  2. The alarm company acknowledges the incoming alarm and reports the data and supporting information such as wind conditions, locations, time, etc., to Alberta Environment in real time, or as soon as becoming aware of it. As the provincial regulator, Alberta Environment uses the data and information from WBEA to follow up appropriately.
  3. If industry is informed that they have exceeded an Ambient Air Quality Objective, they conduct an internal investigation to identify any possible sources. If a source is identified, steps are taken to reduce emissions. A report on the incident is submitted to Alberta Environment within seven days and discussions with regional stakeholders occur at quarterly WBEA meetings.