Frequently Asked Questions
What is an air management zone?
An air management zone is a geographic region that shares the same air quality characteristics. The boundaries for the air management zone may be established considering topographic features, meteorology, economic activities, pollution sources, administration boundaries, and common air quality issues.
The West Yellowhead Air Management Zone is an association of members concerned about the health and safety of all residents of the zone and the environment in which we all live, work, and play.
What is the role of the West Yellowhead Air Management Zone (WYAMZ)?
WYAMZ has a special focus on collecting independent, credible, continuous real-time air quality data that can inform residents about ambient air quality and act as one of several inputs that may be used by the Province of Saskatchewan in regulating emitters.
Air quality information is used to inform planning and therefore monitoring locations are established across the Zone to gather a representative sampling of ambient air quality in the region.
Why is an air quality monitoring program important?
All living organisms require air that is clean and free from pollutants. WYAMZ gathers information about air quality that is in everyone's interest; considering particulates and other harmful gases that may affect health.
Data is collected by WYAMZ in order to be pro-active about potential future air quality issues. The data is also used by regulators like the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, or Economy as they consider future air quality policies.
Why doesn't WYAMZ monitor air quality directly downwind from polluters?
The mandate for WYAMZ is to monitor general or ambient air quality for the region. Air quality directly downwind from emitters is not expected to represent ambient air quality.
Emitters in the region have an additional requirement for monitoring and reporting their air quality impacts with their regulator.
I have a concern regarding a specific person or industry who I think is polluting the air. What should I do?
Persons having concerns regarding a specific emitter should contact the emitter about their concerns. Alternatively, a complaint about a specific emitter can be directed to the appropriate regulating agency below:
Residential sources – the local municipality
Commercial or Industrial sources – The Ministry of Environment (1-800-567-4224)
Agricultural sources – The Ministry of Agriculture (1-866-457-2377)
Upstream Oil and Gas – The Ministry of Economy (1-306-825-6436) includes oil wells, gas wells, gas plants, batteries.
How do I know the standards the WYAMZ is using to evaluate air quality in the region are adequate for assuring public health?
WYAMZ established an air quality monitoring program based on the Saskatchewan Ambient Air Quality Standards (SAAQS). The SAAQS are the driver for air quality management across the province. Page 8 of Saskatchewan's Clean Air Regulations The Clean Air Regulations outlines the province's ambient air quality standards. The SAAQS are listed on each airpointer data access page on this website Air quality monitoring includes sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, hydrogen sulfide, and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) levels.
Once the Ministry of Environment new Environmental Code comes out on June 1, 2015, the Clean Air Regulations will be repealed and updates to the website will be required to reflect these regulatory changes.
For more information about the air quality monitoring program, including results from the monitoring program so far, please see our Annual Report under the Resources tab of this website.
I am concerned about the air quality in my area. What should I do?
WYAMZ works hard to ensure that the monitoring conducted in the region is reflective of the ambient air quality. A Science Committee formed by the association considers both the locations and air quality parameters to be measured.
We welcome your thoughts on our monitoring program, and we rely on individuals to inform us of air quality concerns. Every concern is carefully considered as the monitoring program is grown and maintained.
Who should make air zone management planning decisions?
Members of WYAMZ come from a variety of sectors and backgrounds of expertise. The purpose of WYAMZ is to harness the value of independent data collection and the 'on-the-ground' information sharing among members to inform future planning for the benefit of all.