Non-Point Source Project Team

Read the Full Report: Recommendations to Reduce Non-Point Source Air Emissions in Alberta

The Alberta: Air Zones Report 2011-2013 (Government of Alberta, 2015) indicates five of the six air zones in Alberta are either approaching or not achieving the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and the North Saskatchewan Air Zone is approaching the CAAQS for ozone.

 Air quality can be affected by both natural and human sources. When substances from natural and anthropogenic (i.e. human) sources accumulate in the atmosphere, air quality can degrade and affect human and ecosystem health.

 Alberta’s 2012 Clean Air Strategy highlighted the importance of addressing both point and non-point sources to sustain good air quality. Non-point source emissions are dispersed, which makes them difficult to quantify and challenging to manage. Additional management tools and/or approaches are required, which led to CASA being tasked with this project.

 The CASA Non-Point Source Project focused on non-point source emissions that contribute to ambient PM2.5 and ozone in Alberta where air quality is approaching or not achieving the CAAQS. Since November 2015 CASA has been working to better understand non-point sources in the province and to develop recommendations to better manage them. Stakeholders involved in this project came from non-government organizations, Airshed Organizations, and industry. The project had four objectives:

  1. Compile and review information and agree on a common understanding of non-point source air emissions in Alberta.
  2. Identify non-point source air emissions reduction opportunities in Alberta where CASA’s multi-stakeholder approach could add the most value.
  3. Identify and recommend management actions, which could include recommending policy change, to address the highest value non-point source air emissions reduction opportunities in Alberta (from Objective 2).
  4. Develop and implement a strategy and action plan for communicating with and engaging stakeholders and the public on the work of the project. 

Through Objectives 2 and 3, 19 non-point source air emission reduction opportunities and recommended actions were identified for the following topic areas: 

  1. Mobile sources (transportation)
  2. Construction operations and road dust
  3. Open-air burning
  4. Commercial and residential heating
  5. Industrial non-point sources
  6. Land-use planning
  7. Addressing non-point source knowledge gaps and uncertainties
  8. Considering air quality co-benefits with climate change initiatives 

CASA considers this project to be a starting point for continued, coordinated effort to manage non-point source emissions to improve air quality for the benefit of Albertans.