Pollutant Transformation, Ground-based Pollutant Monitoring Multi Parameter – Fort McKay, Oil Sands Region
Long Term Air Pollutant and Meteorological Monitoring at Fort McKay’s Oski-ôtin site
Continuous monitoring of multiple air pollutants along with meteorological conditions began in Fort McKay at the Oski-ôtin site in August 2013. Compared to the pre-existing monitoring in Fort McKay and throughout the region, conducted by Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA), the Oski-ôtin site provides measurements for a larger number of pollutants using instruments that are configured to be more precise at lower concentrations. Remote sensing instruments located at the site also monitor pollutants, winds and temperatures at multiple heights above the ground. The purpose of Oski-ôtin’s enhanced monitoring is to gain a clearer picture of the mixture and transport of air pollutants produced from the different oil sands related activities.
The Oski-ôtin site is located 0.6 km south of the Fort McKay WBEA air monitoring site (AMS 1 Bertha Ganter); therefore, peak concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), are generally similar at both sites in time and concentration. Oski-ôtin’s enhanced monitoring capacity shows that other pollutants, including several volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and particle-related chemical species (e.g., sulphate, black carbon), regularly occur in the air over Fort McKay at concentrations above regional background levels.
Both preliminary (“raw”) data and final validated data from the Oski-ôtin site are available. Once at least one year of final validated data are available from the Oski-ôtin site the results will be compared with Alberta’s annual ambient air quality objectives. The final data will support improvements to modeling capability to predict current and future air pollutant levels and surface deposition amounts near and also far downwind of the oil sands.
- Date modified: