Saskatchewan Updates Ambient Air Quality Standards
Written by Shanna Empey on Friday, 05 June 2015
Photo Credit: Ministry of the Environment
Right in time to wrap up Canadian Environment Week, the Ministry of Environment has updated ambient air quality standards.
Saskatchewan’s Ambient Air Quality Standards now align with new national objectives for fine particulate matter and ozone as part of the new Saskatchewan Environmental Code chapters that took effect on June 1st.
“One of the things that we updated was part of the Ambient Air Quality Standards of the particulate matter, that’s the PM 2.5, and also the ozone,” said Chief Engineer with the Ministry of Environment, Kevin Mccullum. “What this does is it brings us more into line with the rest of the country under the Canada-wide Standards. We’ve reduced it ever so slightly, but we have reduced it and it brings everyone on the same level playing field.”
In 2013, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment agreed to implement a Canada-wide Air Quality Management System, which includes emission requirements for major emitters, and increased air zone monitoring and reporting requirments. This year, the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide will be updated by the end of 2016 to help provide consistent targets for industries across Canada.
“In the Canada-wide Standards, it’s an entire working group where Health Canada, Environment Canada, all of the jurisdictions as well as many stake-holders look at different classifications of PM 2.5 and ozone in particular for this one brought it down to a level in which it can protect human health and the environment, so that’s where it really comes down to helping us out in keeping our air clean.”
Saskatchewan currently has 18 continuous air monitoring systems operated by the ministry and local air zones to provide updated information to the Air Quality Index online for the public.
The new Saskatchewan Ambient Air Quality Standards are available online at envonline.gov.sk.ca.
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