MEDIA RELEASE: WBEA’S STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES NOW AVAILABLE ON WEBSITE
May 8, 2014
Fort McMurray, Alberta –The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) has taken another important step toward full transparency by posting its Standard Operating Procedures for ambient air monitoring on the Association’s website, www.wbea.com.
WBEA operates an extensive air quality monitoring network that includes 16 continuous ambient air monitoring stations located throughout the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Concentrations of various air pollutants are measured at the stations 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. WBEA adheres to numerous Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to keep each of its 16 stations continuously running and collecting data. SOPs are detailed, written instructions designed to achieve uniformity and accuracy in performance.
WBEA has been the independent air quality reporter in Alberta’s Oil Sands Region since 1998, and is committed to ensuring that its environmental monitoring data is available to the public, stakeholders, scientists and policy makers alike. Part of that commitment includes providing access to the operating processes and procedures that WBEA uses to collect data.
WBEA Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Percy, explains, “At WBEA we are very proud to conduct credible, science-based monitoring on behalf of all of our stakeholders and the public. Real-time data from our continuous analyzers have been available on our public web site for some time, and all quality-assured, continuous air data are available to the public a week after the following months end. Making our SOPs publicly available is another important step toward continuous improvement. Posting these SOPs means that anybody, anywhere, can visit our website and see exactly how we carry out our measurements and maintain our instrumentation.”
Publishing the SOPs is in keeping with protocols and practices of several major monitoring agencies in the United States.
“Part of our credibility is directly tied to our professionalism and our transparency. As a science-based organization, we strive for continual improvement and believe in the importance of information sharing. The SOPs allow stakeholders and the general public to better understand how WBEA successfully operates and maintains our extensive network, in turn providing decision makers with the most reliable monitoring data possible,” said Percy.
WBEA’s SOPs include detailed steps taken to properly operate various analyzers, to conduct sampling and calibrations, and to carry out other standard field procedures. WBEA will continue to add SOPs to the website as they become available. SOPs can be found in the Air Monitoring section of the WBEA website. WBEA has also recently made reports commissioned and conducted through its Terrestrial Environmental Effects Monitoring program available to the public. Terrestrial environmental monitoring reports dating as far back as 1997 can now be accessed at www.wbea.com.