MEDIA RELEASE: WBEA’S NEW CONKLIN LOOKOUT AIR MONITORING STATION, A MONITORING PARTNERSHIP WITH AEMERA AND EC, BEGINS OPERATION.
August 18, 2015
Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) has begun streaming continuous air quality data from a new air monitoring station, Conklin Lookout. This new monitoring station is the result of a partnership between WBEA, the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) and Environment Canada (EC). The Conklin Lookout station is situated 5.5 km west of the community of Conklin, AB, in the southernmost part of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). It is located at an elevation of 673 m near a provincial fire tower. Conklin Lookout is now the most southerly air monitoring station in WBEA’s network of 18 regional stations and will function to track air emissions as they move into and out of WBEA’s air shed.
Conklin Lookout is being operated by WBEA as one of four enhanced deposition air monitoring stations, commissioned under the Joint Canada – Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM). Funding to build and operate the station has been provided by AEMERA. WBEA will operate the station and monitor and report criteria air pollutants and meteorology on our website at www.wbea.org. Conklin Lookout air analyzers will continuously measure sulphur dioxide (SO2), reduced sulphur compounds (TRS), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, solar radiation and surface wetness are also continuously measured. Measurement of total hydrocarbons (THC), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), methane (CH4) and precipitation amount will be initiated shortly.
At Conklin Lookout, WBEA will also operate samplers for the following non-continuous parameters, on behalf of EC and AEMERA: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ions, coarse and fine particulate matter and precipitation. The compounds measured by the partners at this station will provide increased information about air quality in the southern portion of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
WBEA Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Percy is pleased that collaboration between AEMERA, EC and WBEA has resulted in increased air monitoring capacity in the southern RMWB. “WBEA announces the start-up of air quality monitoring at the newly commissioned Conklin Lookout air monitoring station. WBEA, with our partners AEMERA and EC, recognized the value of having a station in the southern most portion of this air shed to inform stakeholders on air quality. As an enhanced deposition station, Conklin Lookout will monitor and report both criteria air pollutants and additional compounds. This information will allow RMWB stakeholders and community members to make informed decisions related to air quality,” said Percy.
Hourly updated air quality data from Conklin Lookout may be viewed at http://wbea.org/monitoring-stations-and-data/monitoring-stations/conklin
The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) is an independent, community based, not-for-profit organization that monitors the air quality in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is done through a variety of air, land and human monitoring programs. The air quality information collected is openly shared with stakeholders and the public.
The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) operates a network of 18 continuous air monitoring stations throughout the region, including community stations in Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, Fort Chipewyan and Anzac. Air monitoring data is openly shared with stakeholders and the public on our website, www.wbea.org.