Data Issues Group

The goal of the Data Issues Group was to develop an implementation plan that will lead to progress with respect to resolving outstanding data issues.

The purpose was to:

  • compile and review recommendations on data issues from CASA teams, CASA forums and the CASA workshop on data issues
  • assess the status of these recommendations
  • develop an implementation plan that will lead to progress with respect to resolving outstanding data issues.

Learn more in the terms of reference.


  • Stacey Smythe (GOV)
  • Darcy Walberg (IND)

Read the final report.

If you’d like more information, please email

CASA teams require data to fully understand the issues and make appropriate decisions within their team’s scope of responsibility. The Data Issues Group has developed an implementation plan for recommendations on data issues from CASA teams and CASA forums that have not yet been implemented.

CASA teams expressed an interest in reviewing, and providing input to, the work of the group and the group requested input from teams at a number of points in its activities.

After developing its terms of reference, the group started with a list of recommendations made by CASA teams and CASA forums with respect to data issues since 1994 (i.e. the beginning of CASA).

It reviewed these recommendations, discarding duplications, and recommendations unrelated to air quality data issues. A preliminary assessment of implementation was conducted using information provided by Alberta Environment, Alberta Health and Wellness, Health Canada and Environment Canada. Recommendations that were identified as already being completely implemented, or very nearly so, were set aside and not included in the subsequent work.

The remaining recommendations were divided into the following categories:

  1. emissions
  2. ambient
  3. exposure
  4. effects
  5. record management
  6. research
  7. modelling
  8. broad

Group members organized recommendations in each category into a matrix format so

  • recommendations in each category could be synthesized into proposed actions, and
  • to ensure there was an audittrail back to the original recommendations.

The group also defined a list of six criteria for prioritizing the proposed actions. These six criteria were refined and finalized using extensive input from teams.

The final criteria were applied to each proposed action to produce a ranked list of actions into a high, medium or low priority. The list was then divided into two by separating actions that resulted from recommendations derived through a consensus process, from those derived from a process where consensus was not sought.

The end result of the Group’s work is a list of prioritized actions, related to recommendations derived both from a consensus process as well as for the non-consensus recommendations. A lead agency for implementation has also been proposed for the derived actions.

These prioritized actions were given in the Group’s final report and recommendations to the CASA Board, presented March 2003.