3.1 Overview of long-term air and soil acidification monitoring in the Cold Lake region

Michael Bisaga, Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA)



Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA) began implementing its regional environmental monitoring programs in 2003 with the commissioning of a passive air monitoring network. Over time, monitoring efforts grew to include continuous ambient air monitoring, integrated air sampling for hydrocarbons, soil acidification monitoring plots, acid sensitive lakes assessment and sampling, as well as special  studies and monitoring projects to address stakeholder concerns. Looking into the future, further enhancements will include improvements to particulate matter monitoring technology and data, and new measurements to assess gully flows and their impact on visibility and local air quality around the Beaver River Valley.

This presentation provides an overview of the different long-term monitoring programs that LICA carries out in the Cold Lake Oil Sands Region. These programs improve characterization of the state of the environment and data are used to collect the information necessary to understand cumulative effects and address local concerns. An overall summary of 2014 data from the continuous and passive ambient air monitoring programs is presented. The triggers for commissioning its regional soil acidification monitoring program as well as an overview of LICA’s ongoing work in the area of soil acidification are detailed. Results of the 2014 surface water sampling campaign and determination of buffering capacity of selected acid-sensitive regional lakes is also presented.



Michael earned a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree with a specialization in Biophysical Systems from the University of Waterloo in 2004. While completing his studies, he had internships in Calgary and Cold Lake which ultimately led to a return to Alberta, beginning a career in Air Quality. Since 2006, he has been the Airshed Program Manager for Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA). At LICA, he oversaw the growth of its regional monitoring programs from a relatively simple network to a multi-parameter, multi-media system. Prior to joining LICA, Michael worked for Alberta Environment as an Air Quality Specialist. Michael has a keen interest in night sky astrophotography and has been a violinist since he first picked up a fiddle at age eight. He currently lives in Calgary with his wife and two Giant Schnauzers, Mezzo and Forte.