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WBEA@Work AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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Executive Director’s Report

Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >>

Dr. Kevin Percy

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

Partnerships are fundamental to the success of WBEA’s monitoring work in Alberta’s Oil Sands Region and Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >>

At WBEA, we recognize that the work we do is enhanced by the partnerships we have developed with other agencies. Bringing scientific expertise into our region through partnerships improves our monitoring capacity and generates a more complete picture of environmental health in the region. WBEA is proud of partnerships developed with the following organizations, to name a few: •

WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >>

Thirty- seven leading scientists from over 20 universities, laboratories and institutes in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Finland who bring science-based monitoring and measurement to the region.

Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB.

Environment Canada - monitoring total gaseous mercury, aromatic compounds collectively known as BTEX, and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). Alberta Sustainable Resource Development monitoring forest health and tree condition.

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Executive Director’s Report >>

Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420

Top: Tom Hutchinson, Regional Forest Health Office with ASRD, and Sarah Eaton, WBEA-TEEM Field Technologist, during WBEA’s 2011 Forest Health Survey.

Website:www.wbea.org

Bottom: Hourly updated AQHI streams to screens at MacDonald Island. Wood Buffalo Environmental Association


AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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Fort McKay – monitoring berry health with the guidance, and support of Elders and community members.

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

Alberta Environment and Water – streaming WBEA data to the new the Oil Sands Information Portal.

Desert Research Institute, NV, USA – monitoring “real world” stack and heavy hauler emissions.

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >>

Fort McMurray Today newspaper – now reporting the AQHI forecast each day.

WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >>

Suncor Leisure Centre, MacDonald Island - now reporting the AQHI on a screen in the lobby of this busy complex.

WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >>

You will find articles about our work with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development during the 2011 Forest Health Survey and Alberta Environment and Water’s Oil Sand Information Portal in this edition of WBEA@Work.

Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB.

WBEA is actively pursuing partnerships with additional agencies in order to build monitoring capacity. Stay tuned for updates!

Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

Dr. Sue Grayston (l) and Carolyn Churchland (c), UBC, and Amanda Horning (r), WBEA, during WBEA’s Forest Health Survey. Dr. Grayston collected soil at WBEA forest health plots for soil microorganism analysis. 2

Wood Buffalo Environmental Association


AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal

Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >>

Alberta Environment and Water

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

Oil sands -- they’re the economic engine of our province and a critically important global resource. While it’s hard to argue with the importance of this resource, Alberta faces continued pressure to demonstrate that the oil sands can be developed in an environmentally-responsible manner. Part of demonstrating this is ensuring that the public has readily available, open and transparent information. While environmental data about the oil sands industry has always been available to the public, it hasn’t always been easy to locate or access. Understandably, this can be frustrating. We want Albertans -- and audiences worldwide who have an interest in our oil sands -- to have easy access to the environmental information they want. For several years, the Government of Alberta has been working to bring available environmental information about the oil sands together into one place. On November 10, 2011, Alberta Environment and Water Minister Diana McQueen launched the Oil Sands Information Portal -- a one-stop web source for oil sands environmental data. The portal blends an interactive map and data library into one easy-to-use platform. The range of information found on the site is very broad. Information can be tailored so any audience will find it useful. Elementary school students can check out a map of the total land disturbed by development, while researchers can quickly find facility-specific water-use figures. 3

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The Oil Sands Information Portal offers information on all environmental mediums: climate change, water quality and quantity, land disturbance and reclamation, tailings ponds, air quality, wildlife and conservation, and project-specific information. The searchable data library provides related reports, static images, links, graphs, and tables that allow users to understand trends, review information in greater depth, or download information for their own use offline. The data library includes both recent and historical data sets. “To help us determine which data would first be available on the portal, we looked at the type of questions we have historically been receiving from the public,” explains Andrew Buffin, Section Head for Environmental Information and Advocacy. “This site is unique and the first of its kind. It’s a user interface where you can visually see where the different data points are on the actual landscape.” For example, Buffin says users can access a layer of information with geographical information about where air monitoring stations are located. From there, users can

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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WBEA’s regional air monitoring stations.

AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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Continued from previous page... Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal

Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >>

access more detailed information for each particular station, such as the current sulphur dioxide readings. By having multiple layers of available information, the site is useful to a wider audience. Data shown is for the most recent reporting period for any given reporting system. Reporting requirements vary; for example, some systems report annually, while others report as frequently as every 15 minutes.

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >> WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >>

“Most importantly, open and easy access to information allows people to form their own opinions and ask questions about oil sands industry performance and regulatory oversight, “says Buffin. “Many people don’t see the laws, processes, and approvals that oil sands projects are subject to, nor do they see all the processes that are in place to monitor a project when it is in operation. This site provides a window into these processes and helps educate Albertans about responsible energy development.”

WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >>

This is only version 1.0 of the Oil Sands Information Portal. The resource will continue to evolve and will include more information as the Alberta government works to digitize reporting requirements and as new indicators and data needs become apparent. The portal will continue to expand and grow for years to come. Moving forward, the Oil Sands Information Portal will continue to play an important role in data accessibility and transparency. As announced earlier this year, the Joint CanadaAlberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring commits to a scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated, and transparent environmental monitoring program for the oil sands region. It outlines the path forward

Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420

WBEA’s regional air monitoring stations.

Website:www.wbea.org

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AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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Continued from previous page... Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal to enhance the monitoring of water, air, land and biodiversity and is designed to provide an improved understanding of the long-term cumulative effects of oil sands development. Data from the new monitoring program, and the methods on which it is based, will be transparent, supported by necessary quality assurance, and will be made publicly available to allow independent scientific assessments and evaluations. This will encourage informed discussions and analysis on the impacts of oil sands development based on high-quality scientific information. The Oil Sands Information Portal will be a key reporting tool for the new program. “Good science is driven by debate and dialogue,” says Buffin. “It is our hope that easy access to the information

on this portal serves to drive continued excellence and innovation in environmental management.” The launch of the Oil Sands Information Portal was wellreceived by academia and industry -- as evidenced in a Pembina Institute’s news release. Going forward, the portal establishes a valid baseline for a more informed, productive dialogue about oil sands development and allows the province to have more meaningful conversations based on open and accessible information. This portal is just one of the ways Alberta is continually stepping up its efforts, as a responsible environmental steward. Learn more about environmental management in Alberta’s oil sands at www.osip.alberta.ca

Executive Director’s Report >> Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >> WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >> WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011

Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >>

Dr. Yu-Mei Hsu, Atmospheric and Analytical Chemist, WBEA

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

Work with WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor (AIM) progressed throughout 2011. The AIM, the first instrument of its kind in Alberta and only the second in Canada, monitors gas species (hydrogen chloride, nitrous acid, nitric acid and ammonia) and particulate species (chloride, nitrate, sulfate, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and ammonium). This analyzer yields hourly ambient air data that improves our understanding of secondary aerosol formation and photochemical reaction in the Alberta Oil Sands Region. Aerosols are of concern for human health and visibility. To better understand the air quality in this region, work has also been done with the integrated data, e.g., annual report and 10-year ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) passive data for trending and spatial analysis. Presentations were given at two international conferences in 2011: the 104th Air & Waste Management Association Conference in Orlando, FL., and the 7th Asian Aerosol Conference in Xian, China. •

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Executive Director’s Report >>

“Long Term Measurements of Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations Using Passive Measurements in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada”, Dr. Yu-Mei Hsu and Dr. Kevin Percy. This paper reported ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) concentrations in the Alberta Oil Sands Region and defined uncertainty in passive data through co-location of passive samplers at a number of community monitoring stations. “Application of an Ambient Ion Monitor in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region”, Dr. Yu-Mei Hsu and

Dr. Kevin Percy. This paper presented recent results of WBEA’s semi-continuous AIM, monitoring low ambient concentrations of inorganic gaseous phase ammonia (NH3), hydrogen chloride (HCl), nitrous acid (HNO2), nitric acid (HNO3) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), and water-soluble aerosol species of particulate matter (PM2.5). Nitrous acid (HNO2) and nitric acid (HNO3) concentrations were generally low at AMS 1 Fort McKay during the period of measurement. Charles Bower, Nexen Inc., and Dr. Yu Mei Hsu, WBEA Atmospheric and Analytical Chemist, discuss operation of WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor, foreground.

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health

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Jane Percy

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) is collaborating with WBEA’s Terrestrial Environmental Effects Monitoring (TEEM) Program to monitor forest health and condition in the RMWB. For many years WBEA has been assessing forest health to determine if air emissions are having an effect on forest vigor. This is an important aspect of WBEA’s environmental surveillance as pollution has been shown to change forest dynamics, making trees more susceptible to disease and destructive insects. Every six years, WBEA undertakes an extensive, multilevel survey of the state of the forests in the region. This past summer, TEEM deployed six teams of scientists and technicians to layout plots, measure and record vegetation, and sample soil, vegetation, tree health, soil microbiology, and lichens. During the 2011 Forest Health Survey, Tom Hutchinson, Regional Forest Health Officer with ASRD, examined the trees at each of twenty-three sites for the presence of insects and diseases, and determined the health of each individual tree. Tom, assisted by Marty Robillard, also

of ASRD, as well as Sarah Eaton and Amanda Horning, WBEA TEEM Technicians, looked at nearly 1,000 trees in the forest health assessment component of the survey. ASRD will also assist WBEA this summer in identifying and clearing helicopter landing pads at the twenty-two forest health plot sites throughout the region that are not accessible by road. In partnership with WBEA, ASRD contributes expertise and proficiency to terrestrial environmental monitoring in the RMWB. Left: Trees surveyed by ASRD during 2011 were tagged for future monitoring.

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

Right: ASRD has partnered with WBEA to conduct tree health surveys in the RMWB.

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AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display

Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >>

Jane Percy

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

The WBEA headquarters’ building on the corner of Thickwood Boulevard and Signal Road in Fort McMurray underwent a significant transformation in 2011. The changes not only improve the appearance, they also provide the public with real time air quality information via a new electronic message centre. WBEA relocated its office space to a former bank branch in 2009. The 2011 renewal of the building exterior included removal of old signs, repair of the façade, and installation of fixed signs, as well as the message centre. The new electronic message centre, which became operational on November 22, 2011, was designed to stream hourly regional Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) data. The busy intersection of Thickwood and Signal is an ideal location for such a sign, as it is viewed daily by many residents of the community of Fort McMurray. The message centre displays the AQHI numbers for the four WBEA community Air Monitoring Stations that currently report AQHI: Fort McMurray (AMS 7), Fort McKay (AMS 1), Fort MacKay South (AMS 13), and Fort Chipewyan (AMS 8). The sign display automatically adds the appropriate AQHI colour as a background to the AQHI number ie. Green for Low Health Risk (AQHI #’s 1-3), Yellow for Moderate Health Risk (AQHI #’s 4-6), Orange for High Health Risk (AQHI #’s 7-10), Red for 8

Executive Director’s Report >>

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >>

Very High Health Risk (AQHI #’s above 10). The data for each station is displayed in rotation, with a time/date screen and a temperature screen in the loop. Eric Nosal, WBEA Data Management Specialist, was instrumental in creating the AQHI/WBEA- IT interface for the message centre. The AQHI used on the message centre is pulled, indirectly, from the Alberta Environment and Water (AEW) web service. The message centre requires some additional information for the display, such as the image for the corresponding AQHI. Therefore, a service running on WBEA’s server pulls the AQHI from the AEW web service, and generates its own output which is used by the message centre. The AEW output is also compatible with the message centre and could have been used directly, but would not have allowed for the

WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

HOME >> Continued from previous page... WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display coordinating colour to be displayed with the AQHI number. Therefore to avoid any possible discrepancies between WBEA calculations and AEW’s calculations, the AQHI is not calculated by WBEA. •

The message centre uses an XML feed which runs on WBEA’s website. It can be seen at: http://wbea.org/rss/AQHI.xml.

The message centre polls the site at a user defined interval. WBEA polls every minute, even though the AQHI is only updated every hour, to avoid missing an update.

The sign has a connection to the internet so that it can pull the latest information whenever required.

The sign is a Galaxy 20mm RGB display with Visiconn control and software. Recently, additional information was added to the digital message centre display loop. Following each Air Monitoring Station AQHI reading a screen appears, linked to the appropriate AQHI colour, which tells the time and date of the AQHI reading along with the appropriate health message. See bottom photo at right. Check out the “real time” AQHI readings the next time you are passing by WBEA headquarters! If you would like any additional information about WBEA’s electronic message centre/AQHI project, please contact Jane Percy at jpercy@wbea.org.

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The first three photos show AQHI displays for three of WBEA’s community air monitoring stations.

Executive Director’s Report >> Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >> WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >> WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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Jane Percy

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

WBEA-TEEM’s 2011 forest health survey, conducted every six years, presented an opportunity to document field crews and scientists engaged in sampling and measurement activities in our region. A vignette featuring the forest health work was filmed primarily at WBEA-TEEM forest health plot JP104, located off the Firebag Road southeast of Shell Albian Sands. The vignette is titled Boreal Forest Health Survey - Phase 1 Field Sample Collection, and features:

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >>

Dr. Kevin Percy introducing the concept of the forest health survey.

Dr. Keith Puckett, ECOFIN, collecting samples of two lichens growing on trees. Keith, a research scientist who has studied the impact of air pollutants on plants and particularly lichens, explains the important role these organisms play in absorbing air pollutants. He further describes their usefulness in comparative studies of pollution mapping in various jurisdictions such as the RMWB, Northern Ontario, Fenno-Scandinavia, Russia, and Alaska, which will assist in putting WBEA’s data into a global context.

Quick Updates >>

Dr. Sue Grayston, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Soil Microbial Ecology, at the University of British Columbia, and UBC graduate student Carolyn Churchland collecting soil cores for analysis of microorganisms. Dr. Grayston describes the

Website:www.wbea.org

30 M tower at JP 104. Photo courtesy of Dr. Allan Legge •

WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420

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AN UPDATE ON WBEA’S LATEST WORK VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3, APRIL 2012

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vital role soil microorganism play in nutrient cycling in the boreal forest ecosystem. •

WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >>

The vegetation team from Navus Environmental Inc. conducting measurements, sampling procedures and composition analysis of trees, understory plants, lichens and mosses. Mike Solohub and Robert Anderson, BioSynch Consulting, sampling soils.

The 30 meter solar-powered tower for continuous measurement of meteorology and pollutant concentrations.

Striking aerial footage of JP104 and the landscape of our region.

The data generated from the forest health survey will contribute to our understanding of the state of terrestrial ecosystems in the region. This knowledge will assist stakeholders, policymakers, and governments to make sound decisions around industrial development in our region.

View the Boreal Forest Health Survey vignette at http://wbea. org/library/wbea-videos-a-sound-clips Although the collection of samples, forest measurements, and quantitative data at the forest health plots completes the first component of the survey, much work remains. All samples have been shipped to high-quality analytical labs in Canada, the US, and Finland and data analysis is proceeding. A final report is expected in late 2012.

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WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >>

Dr. Ellen MacDonald, Professor of Forest Ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta, describing the vegetation sampling component of the survey. The work will quantify the vegetation currently at each plot to allow for observation of future changes in relation to atmospheric pollution.

Executive Director’s Report >>

WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> Filming the WBEA Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette.

WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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Quick Updates •

WBEA staff member, Melissa Lemay, won the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Communities in Bloom - Display of the Week Award in December 2011. Melissa’s neighbours nominated her home, pictured below, for the community award given for winter beautification through dynamic lighting displays and festive decorations. Melissa is already planning improvements and innovations to next winter’s lights and decorations. Congratulations, Melissa, for your wonderful sense of community spirit!

• In January, the Fort McMurray Today newspaper began to run a daily Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) piece. The WBEA designed template is populated 12

with the AQHI forecast for the next day in Fort McMurray, Fort McKay and Fort McKay South. The forecast function for Fort Chipewyan, the fourth WBEA community air monitoring station to report AQHI, is not yet available. •

In February, WBEA began showing real-time AQHI readings on LCD screens at the Suncor Leisure Centre at MacDonald Island.

In February, Dr. John Watson (l) and Dr. Judy Chow (r), Professors with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, Nevada visited WBEA. They attended a one-day technical transfer meeting on February 8th with industry members who have participated in the 2008-2011 TEEM source characterization project completed by DRI. The meeting focused on the results of the first ever, on-board portable emissions measurement of mine heavy haulers. On Feb. 9th, they gave a briefing to a WBEA First Nation’s member on project results

Executive Director’s Report >> Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >> WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >> WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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Continued from previous page... Quick Updates and interpretation. Dr. Watson and Dr. Chow also met with Dr. Ken Foster, TEEM Program manager, to complete the scope for the 2012 dust source characterization project. •

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On Feb. 15th, a meeting of the Fort McKay Berry Focus Group was held in the community of Fort McKay. This successful meeting coordinated by Janelle Baker, Little Seed Consulting Inc., and attended by Fort McKay community members, WBEA Executive Director Kevin Percy, and Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, served as a planning session for the 2012 regional berry monitoring field trips, including a trip to Moose Lake.

On Feb. 15th, WBEA staff members Gary Cross and Amanda Horning volunteered as judges at the Father Mercredi High School Science Fair.

Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Percy, has been working with other Alberta Airsheds Council members to enhance the profile of air monitoring conducted for stakeholders, including Alberta Environment and Water (AEW), within the seven Alberta air sheds. On Feb. 28th, representatives from the Council met with AEW Minister Diana McQueen in Edmonton. WBEA was represented by our President Ann Dort MacLean. At the meeting, the Minister re-affirmed the critical importance of air sheds in the delivery of air monitoring within the proposed Commission recommended by the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel in July.

Executive Director’s Report >> Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >>

On February 8, Sanjay Prasad, AATC Program Manager, and Anne Simpson, AATC Chair, met in Calgary with six southern companies who are WBEA members. The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate cost-efficiencies and objectives for continuous monitoring in the southern portion of our airshed. A plan for air monitoring in the south is a key milestone in the WBEA Strategic Plan. In February, WBEA welcomed two new staff members. Mrs. Abena TwumasiSmith, pictured to right, was appointed HEMP Program Manager. Abena brings years of experience to WBEA in multi-stakeholder organizations focused on health research and ethics. Mr. Craig Ibbotson, pictured on next page with Dr. Bob O’Brien, was appointed Field Technician. Craig brings analytical training experience to WBEA and he will be dedicated, in the short term, to operation and maintenance

WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >> WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

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Continued from previous page... Quick Updates of the Pneumatically Focused Gas Chromatograph (PFGC) operating at AMS #1 Fort McKay. Both Abena and Craig live in Fort McMurray, and their staff appointments are part-time.

Top: Field Technician, Craig Ibbotson (l), will operate and maintain the PFGC developed by Dr. Bob O’Brien(r), VOC Technologies. Bottom: Network Evaluation workshop facilitator Randy Angle and WBEA Members discuss report recommendations.

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In early March, Dr. Bob O’Brien, VOC Technologies, Portland, Oregon, was on site working at AMS # 1 Fort McKay. Bob made technical modifications to the PFGC (patents held by VOC Technologies) purchased in 2011 by WBEA, and trained Craig Ibbotson in its operation, calibration, and the absorbent cartridge collection used for mass spectrometry confirmation of the odour compounds which are speciated and quantified on the PFGC.

WBEA Members had the opportunity to consider and prioritize recommendations contained in the Network Evaluation of our air monitoring capacity on March 7th and 8th at a workshop. The Network Evaluation was conducted by Tom Dan and Eric Edgerton, both experts in the field of air quality monitoring networks. Their final report contained twenty-two recommendations. Facilitated by Randy Angle, the workshop included a 3 hour summary session, a briefing from Alberta Environment and Water (AEW) on the “Joint CanadaAlberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring”, and a one and one half day workshop considering and discussing each of the twenty two recommendations. Representatives of twenty-one WBEA members participated in the workshop. A final report of the workshop decisions will be compiled for consideration.

Executive Director’s Report >> Mine Oil Sands Environmental Data from Alberta’s Online Portal >> WBEA’s Ambient Ion Monitor and Passive Measurements in 2011 >> WBEA and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Partner to Monitor Forest Health >> WBEA’s Headquarters’ Revitalization Includes Real Time AQHI Display >> WBEA’s Boreal Forest Health Survey Vignette >> Quick Updates >> WBEA @Work is a publication of the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, #100-330 Thickwood Blvd., Fort McMurray, AB. Please contact Jane Percy, WBEA Communications, with questions, comments, or suggestions. jpercy@wbea.org 780-799-4420 Website:www.wbea.org

Wood Buffalo Environmental Association


WBEA@Work - April 2012