Air Quality Control
People, industry, and government have all recognized
the need to control the amount and type of emissions put into the
air. In Alberta government and industry have worked together to
measure and control emissions. In Edmonton and Calgary, as well as
a number of smaller centres, a network of air monitoring stations has
been established. These stations monitor carbon monoxide, ozone,
nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, and particulates.
Government inspectors investigate when one or more of
these emissions exceeds established limits. If the emissions are
from a single industry, action is taken. The government works with
the industry to prevent further pollution problems. This could
mean the industry is required to improve the operation of pollution
control equipment or install new pollution control devices.
Failure to comply may result in the industry being fined or closed until
pollution control devices are installed.
If high pollution readings are the result of
atmospheric conditions, the government may require all industries to
restrict emissions or temporarily reduce operations. When
conditions return to normal, the industries may start up again.
Air quality has improved in the past decade.
Alberta's two major sources of pollutants, vehicle exhaust and gas and
oil processing, have been reduced. Cars and trucks have more
efficient engines with pollution control devices. Cars use
unleaded gas which reduces pollution. Oil and gas processors are
required by government to apply the best practical technology to reduce
emissions. This means using efficient and effective pollution
control devices to allow businesses to remain competitive while reducing
emissions. For example, the sulphur from sour gas is sold to make
fertilizers. Pollution control can pay.
Reprinted from Focus On Air Quality (1993) with permission of