Parkland Airshed Management Zone investigates air quality issues in Central Alberta. (Photo from Facebook)

Central Albertans invited to bring concerns to air quality meeting

Parkland Airshed Managment Zone holds public meeting June 25

Gasoline odours that recently drifted into Kentwood are an example of the type of air quality problem that Parkland Airshed Management Zone can investigate, says its executive director.

In late May, Red Deer Emergency Services reported that a gas-like odour in the Edgar Industrial Park area was believed to have been caused by equipment delivered to the park and that the company involved was working to mitigate the smell.

As recently as last Wednesday, the odour was still a problem. Some residents have reported headaches and feeling nauseous and lethargic.

An update on the gas odour has yet to be made available to the Red Deer Advocate from the City of Red Deer.

“In the past, we’ve monitored issues such as gravel pits, hog farms, waste water facilities — a whole host of issues,” said Parkland Airshed Management Zone executive director Kevin Warren.

The group is a non-profit organization consisting of industry, government, environmental organizations and the public that monitors and manages air quality in the Parkland region.

Warren said the gasoline odour in Kentwood is something that could be investigated to determine the source and a course of action.

“Companies by and large want to be good neighbours. It’s in everybody’s best interest to do so.”


Gasoline odour troubles Red Deer neighbourhood

Red Deer pollution report points to human activities

On Tuesday in Sylvan Lake, the group will hold an air quality issues meeting where the public can bring forward concerns that will help it select locations for its portable air monitoring station in 2020.

The group covers an extremely large area, from Three Hills to the B.C. border to the west, and from Crossfield to Ponoka to the north.

“The air monitoring station that we have, as you can imagine, it’s in demand. For 2019, it’s booked up with issues that were identified last year.”

But if there are emergencies, the schedule could be changed, he said.

“Currently, the station is booked to go to Bentley for July and August. This goes back to an ongoing issue that residents have there with odours from a hog farming operation located south of town.

“We can determine what the concentrations are of certain pollutants. For a number of pollutants, there are regulations around ambient levels.”

High pollution levels are brought to the attention of the appropriate regulator, he said.

The public meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Chateau Inn, at 5027 Lakeshore Dr. in Sylvan Lake. Admission is free and no pre-registration is required.

On Wednesday, the group will hold its annual general meeting, which will include an update on the state of air quality in central Alberta.

The meeting runs from 6 to 7 p.m. at Lacombe Memorial Centre, 5214 50th Ave. Admission is free and no pre-registration is required.

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