3.2   Overview of long-term air and terrestrial monitoring in the Wood Buffalo Region

Dr. Kevin Percy, Wood Buffalo Environmental Association





The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) was founded in 1998 as a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder monitoring organization. WBEA’s Mission is to monitor air quality and air quality related environmental impacts in order to generate accurate and transparent information which enables stakeholders to make informed decisions. WBEA has 38 Aboriginal, industry, ENGO, and government members. It operates extensive air quality, and terrestrial environmental monitoring programs within the 68,000 km2 Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality. The WBEA human exposure monitoring program is focused on community-based odour measurement. Respect for TEK is a core value within WBEA.

In 2008, WBEA embarked on a multi-year science enhancement centered on air pollutant source to sink monitoring enabled by on-site staff and a multi-disciplinary team of senior scientists. Measurements taken along the air pollutant pathway include “real-world” emissions of mobile, fixed, and fugitive emission sources, continuous and time-integrated air quality, pollutant transfer and deposition, and a suite of environmental indicators for determination of cause-effect. Since 2011, air and terrestrial systems have been integrated through the use of forensic receptor modeling tools used for source apportionment purposes. This presentation will provide an overview of steps taken since 2008 to enhance monitoring and will provide an update on current status of WBEA air and terrestrial monitoring activities.


Dr. Kevin Percy is Executive Director of the not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder Wood Buffalo Environmental Monitoring Association (www.wbea.org) located in Fort McMurray. Prior to joining WBEA in 2009, he was Senior Scientist-Global Change with NRCan. Dr. Percy has published numerous articles, books, and reports on air quality, air quality/climate change effects, and retrospective reviews of monitoring programs. His appointments at the science-policy interface have included the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the CCME, and the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel The Potential for New andEmerging Technologies to Reduce the EnvironmentalImpacts of Oil Sands Development.