Previous annual reporting
The chart below shows the average H2S levels from spot readings recorded annually at each station.
Regulatory requirements for air monitoring
The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) is the primary Act in Alberta through which regulatory requirements for air, water, land, and biodiversity are managed.
The Act supports and promotes the protection, enhancement and wise use of the environment by designating proposed activities for which an approval or registration is required.
EPCOR Water Services Inc. has an EPEA approval for operating and maintaining the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (GBWWTP). EPEA approval holders are responsible for monitoring and reporting air quality as per the Air Monitoring Directive (AMD).
The Air Monitoring Directive (AMD)
The AMD sets out the Provincial requirements for monitoring and reporting air quality. The AMD requires that:
- If an approval holder's monitoring duties are fulfilled by an airshed or monitoring network, the airshed or network would monitor and report on behalf of the facility and must adhere to AMD requirements.
- Airsheds and networks must submit their air data and reporting (on a monthly and annual basis).
- Monthly and annual reporting meets the minimum data, information and content standards.
EPCOR fulfills these requirements through monitoring and reporting completed by the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) on our behalf.
Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) air monitoring network
The Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) is a multi-stakeholder environmental monitoring network. The SIA conducts air, water, and land monitoring in the Strathcona Industrial area. EPCOR is a member of the SIA since 1999. The Gold Bar Air Monitoring Station is managed by the SIA. It monitors air quality at the Gold Bar Water Treatment Plant, measuring Hydrogen Sulphide, Sulphur Dioxide, Oxides of Nitrogen, along with wind speed, direction, and temperature. SIA stations are regularly audited by Alberta Environment and Parks.
Find out more about the SIA
Air monitoring station locations
Since 2011, EPCOR has been tracking average hourly and average daily H2S levels captured by the SIA Beverly Station (1 km NE of the GBWWTP) and the Gold Bar Station (1 km S of the GBWWTP). These levels are compared to the AAAQO of 10 ppb over a one hour period and an average of 3 ppb over a twenty-four hour period.
As shown in the graph below, the number of one hour exceedances over the AAAQO average of 10 ppb had been trending down since 2011 until 2015 when the odour scrubbing equipment at the GBWWTP failed. The odour scrubbers were returned to full working order in January 2016. Since the operational improvements and emissions reduction plan began to be implemented in early 2016, there has been continuous improvement in ambient air quality, with just four confirmed exceedances in 2016, one in 2017 and two in 2018. There was one exceedance in 2020 at the Gold Bar Station. While our air dispersion/odour model determined the GBWWTP was unlikely to be the source of the exceedance, it was attributed to our site as a result of the current reporting methods used by the SIA.