Letter: Fort Air Partnership offers 3rd quarter report

Fort Air Partnership (FAP), the organization that monitors the air local residents breathe, released 2020 third quarter Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results today. The Government of Alberta calculates the AQHI using data collected at seven of FAP’s air monitoring stations.

There was only one hour of high AQHI and no very high risk hours during the quarter. The attributed cause for the high AQHI reading was the burning of residential yard waste near the station in Gibbons. Overall air quality in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland was of low risk to health more than 99% of the time from July 1 to September 30, 2020. The air monitoring station at Gibbons recorded the most hours of moderate or high AQHI results while Redwater recorded the least.

 

FAP – 2020 Q3 Risk Level (% of time in each)
Station Name Hours Monitored Low Moderate High Very High
Bruderheim 2,134 99.39% 0.61%    
Elk Island 2,086 99.28% 0.72%
Fort Saskatchewan 2,078 99.76% 0.24%
Gibbons 2,115 99.05% 0.90% 0.05%
Lamont County 2,146 99.39% 0.61%
Redwater 2,111 99.95% 0.05%
Sturgeon County* 1,425 99.58% 0.42%    
Total hours 14,095 14,022 72 1

*The portable monitoring station in Sturgeon County began reporting AQHI data on August 1, 2020.

As a comparison, results from the third quarter of 2019 are provided on the next page.

 

Q3 – 2019 Risk Level (% of time in each)
Station Name Hours Monitored Low Moderate High Very High
Bruderheim 2,127 100.00%
Elk Island 2,163 100.00%
Fort Saskatchewan 2,084 99.81% 0.19%
Gibbons 2,164 99.72% 0.28%
Lamont County 2,165 100.00%
Redwater 2,106 100.00%
Chipman (portable) 2,164 100.00%
Total hours 14,973 14,963 10

The major difference between last year and this year is Q3 of 2020 saw 62 more AQHI moderate risk hours and one high risk hour. The increased number of hours is largely due to particulate matter contained in smoke that drifted into the region in mid to late September from U.S. wildfires.

Local residents can check the forecast and daily AQHI at fortair.org. The website also has a live data feed for a variety of substances that FAP measures, as well as weekly, quarterly and annual AQHI results.

Nadine Blaney, Executive Director

Fort Air Partnership

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