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Monitors, Monitors and More Monitors 

In order to understand and limit environmental impacts, scientists need to collect information.  Monitoring of air and water quality is part of this, as is taking samples of soil for testing for contaminants.  Air quality monitoring is an excellent example of this kind of data collection.

Monitoring is not done just to collect information though.  If a problem is detected, monitoring can help identify the cause.  Suncor's Flue Gas Desulphurization program shows how monitoring sulphur dioxide levels in the air can lead to important environmental benefits.  Scrubbing units remove sulphur dioxide from stacks at Suncor and have improved air quality throughout the Wood Buffalo region.

Forest FireAir quality does not just depend on industry activity however, automobile, furnace and fireplace use can have a significant impact as well.  Natural events such as forest fires can affect air quality on occasion too. 

There are many air quality monitoring stations throughout the Wood Buffalo area and many stations around the province may be accessed through Alberta Environment's website.  Some of the substances that Alberta Environment monitors are Carbon Monoxide and Oxides of Nitrogen.

Reprinted with permission of Alberta Community Development, Cultural Facilities and Historical Resources Division.

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