Released on June 3, 2015As Saskatchewan residents celebrate Clean Air Day during Canadian Environment Week, updated ambient air quality standards come into effect that will protect the province, its people and its future.
As part of the new Saskatchewan Environmental Code chapters that took effect on June 1, Saskatchewan’s Ambient Air Quality Standards now align with new national objectives for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and ozone.
“In Saskatchewan, we have clean air and we want to keep it that way,” Environment Minister Herb Cox said. “Our government’s new standards have been developed to better protect human health and our environment.”
In 2013, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment agreed to implement a Canada-wide Air Quality Management System. The new system includes emission requirements for major emitters, and increased air zone monitoring and reporting requirements. In 2015, the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) will be updated and should be completed by the end of 2016. New standards will help provide consistent targets for industries across the country.
Over the past several years, air monitoring efforts have increased across the province. Saskatchewan now has 18 continuous air monitoring stations operated by the ministry and local air zones measuring regional air quality levels and providing the Air Quality Index online for the public. The air zones include stakeholders from government, industry and non-government organizations, who work together to address local and regional air quality issues.
“Addressing air quality issues will help maintain clean air and create a healthy environment for everyone,” Ministry of Environment Chief Engineer Kevin McCullum said. “Additional monitoring will help the province and its industries grow in a responsible manner, and individuals can take an active part to reduce air pollution by using public transit, walking, cycling or turning off electronics when not in use.”
The new Saskatchewan Ambient Air Quality Standards are available online at https://envonline.gov.sk.ca/seqg-search/.
Canadian Environment Week takes place May 31 to June 6 this year and includes World Environment Day on June 5, as adopted by the United Nations. Environment Week provides an opportunity to discover simple actions you can take to protect the environment throughout the year.
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