Since 2001, Alberta Environment and Parks has worked with a multi-stakeholder committee, the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objective Stakeholder Advisory Committee (AAAQOSAC) to develop and review ambient air quality objectives. The committee successfully developed or reviewed thirty objectives in that time. The committee was sunsetted in December 2015.

 At their December 2016 Board Meeting, the CASA Board of Directors approved a statement of opportunity from Alberta Environment and Parks for the formation of a CASA Ambient Air Quality Objectives Project Team (AAQO Project Team). The priorities are in response to the development of Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) for PM2.5, ozone, NO2 and SO2, and the carry forward of two substances from the previous AAQOSAC work plan, TRS and H2S. CAAQS have been development for long-term air zone management and are reported on annually. AAQOs are used in a number of ways, including assessing compliance near major industrial air emission sources and to report on the state of Alberta’s atmospheric environment. These values are also applied in various assessments used to model and predict the impact on air quality and human and environmental health (e.g., Environmental Impact Assessments, Human Health Risk Assessments). AAQOs cover averaging periods ranging from 1 hour to 1 year (annual). Alberta is reviewing their current AAQOs in light of recent CAAQS changes.

Project Scope

The AAQO Project Team recommended ambient air quality objectives for PM2.5, ozone, NO2, SO2, H2S and TRS based on careful review and consideration of:

  • Scientific information, adverse health and ecosystem effects specific to the substance
  • Technological and economic factors

Project Goal

The AAQO Project Team developed:

  1. Reports with substance specific AAQO recommendations according to the project schedule.
  2. A final report that will summarize the substance specific reports and provide additional process context including a summary introduction and conclusion. 

The substance specific reports and the final summary report provided a rationale for proposed AAQOs that considers the current science and technological and economic factors. For more information about this work, contact Project Manager Katie Duffett at