Ozone Management Plan
Be Involved in the Parkland Ozone Management Plan
Ozone (O3) is a colourless gas which at normal concentrations is odourless. When found at higher concentrations it has a distinctive sharp odour associated with electrical charges in lightening storms and photocopiers. Ozone in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) plays an important role in shielding the earth from harmful rays from the sun, particularly from ultraviolet rays. However, ozone at ground level is primarily a human produced pollutant which contributes to the creation of smog; that yellow or brownish haze you may see in the horizon or over a city on a very hot day. Read More
Ground level ozone is different from other pollutants in that it is not emitted directly into the air. It requires two primary precursor pollutants (nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds or VOCs) to react in the presence of heat and sunlight under stagnant weather conditions. Nitrogen oxides are produced by combustion from vehicles, trains, motor boats, gas burning lawn and farm equipment and home heating, as well as from industrial sources such as oil and gas and power generation plants, for example. VOCs include hydrocarbons like alkanes, alkenes, aromatics (i.e. benzenes and toluene) aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, esters and some chlorinated compounds. Other sources for VOCs can include intensive livestock operations, petroleum and chemical industries, vehicular emissions, gasoline marketing and storage tanks, dry cleaning, fireplaces, natural gas emissions and aircraft traffic.
Ground level ozone at high concentrations is a pollutant that has detrimental effects on human and animal health and the environment. It can reduce lung function, cause chest tightness, coughing or wheezing and aggravate existing respiratory illness as well as irritate eyes, nose and throat. Chronic exposure can cause permanent damage to the alveoli of the lungs. Additionally it can reduce crop yields and plant growth and contribute to noticeable leaf damage. Read More
In recent years ozone levels in the Parkland Airshed Management Zone (PAMZ) have approached the Canadian Wide Standards (CWS) limit of 65 parts per billion (PPB). These levels triggered the need for an ozone management plan for the area to ensure we do not reduce our air quality to the point where we have extended periods of smog, reduced visibility, increased incidents of air quality related health concerns, damage to our vegetation, limited outdoor activity and general loss of the quality of life.
Ozone levels in the Parkland Airshed Management Zone triggered the need for an Ozone Management Plan as mandated by the CASA Particulate Matter and Ozone management Framework. This framework is based on standards established by the Canadian Council of Ministers on the Environment (CCME). Read More
The fundamental principles behind the PAMZ Ozone Management Plan are continuous improvement, pollution prevention and keeping clean areas clean. Therefore, the intention is to avoid polluting up to CWS levels.
The main focus of the management plan is on voluntary stewardship, corporate responsibility and supportive programming to reduce ozone levels in our region. This means that every sector, organization, business and individual in the region is encouraged to play a role in helping to reduce emissions that create ground level ozone.
The Ozone Management Plan is in place to ensure continuous improvement, but it may require more stringent actions if future air quality conditions worsen or we fail to work toward reducing our emissions of precursor pollutants in the region.
The need for a management plan was identified by Alberta Environment (AENV). PAMZ agreed to be the coordinating body to develop, maintain and be responsible for the plan. The plan was developed through a collaborative effort among key stakeholders and includes six objectives:
- Determine the human health impacts of poor air quality on PAMZ stakeholders
- Maintain and improve air quality in the PAMZ where possible.
- Continuous improvement in air quality will encourage future regional and economic growth and potentially promote new business opportunities
- Regional land use planning to encourage and promote good air quality.
- Build and promote awareness of local air quality issues.
- Agencies will work collaboratively to improve air quality and to share environmental responsibility.
Whether you are a non-government organization, a business, industry or municipality, there are ways you can play a role in reducing emissions that cause ground level ozone pollution. PAMZ encourages you to: Read More
- Learn about the Ozone Management Plan and how your business or organization can play a role in reducing emissions causing ozone in the region.
- Assess your organization’s current environmental performance and provide PAMZ with an inventory of what you already are doing.
- Build awareness within your organization about ground level ozone and generate ideas about how your organization can further reduce emissions causing ozone in our atmosphere.
- Enact plans to encourage your employees or the members of your organization to actively participate in ozone reduction strategies.
Ozone Management Plan
PAMZ's Ozone Management Plan that was developed in 2010 to address increasing zone levels in the zone. In November 2006, Alberta Environment notified PAMZ that air quality monitoring stations in the area exceeded the Management Plan action trigger (58 ppb) for ozone. The plan has several objectives with timelines to address ozone levels the area.
On warm, sunny days, ozone forms from emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds from sources like vehicles, industrial processes and power plants or small motorized equipment like lawn mowers, chainsaws and snow blowers.
Ozone is a major constituent of smog, that yellow or brown haze we see on the horizon or over a city on a hot, still day. At high concentration levels it can cause respiratory and other health problems, damage vegetation and lower our quality of life. It's not a serious problem yet in Central Alberta and we want to keep it that way.
The Ozone Management Plan encourages the voluntary participation of everyone in our area to take an active role in reducing emissions that cause ozone. Our biggest challenge is encouraging everyone to take more concerted action to reduce ozone.
In January 2010, the Parkland Airshed Management Zone Association (PAMZ), as part of its Ozone Management Plan, developed and sent out a questionnaire to 127 stakeholders, representing four key sectors in the PAMZ area: (1) municipalities (2) industries (3) businesses (4) government agencies.
The purpose of the questionnaire was threefold:
- Assess stakeholder awareness of the Ozone Management Plan and current activities they are taking that reduce ozone formation in the PAMZ region.
- Gather baseline data to compare and measure voluntary progress toward reducing ozone formation through future PAMZ surveys.
- Gather feedback to provide direction to PAMZ as to how it can most effectively support stakeholders in future actions to reduce ozone formation.
Thirty-eight completed surveys were received, for a response rate of 30 per cent. Of the surveys received, 15 were from the oil and gas industry, 16 were from municipalities (cities, villages, towns and counties) three from provincial government agencies and four from other industries or industry related businesses (Sunpine Forest Products, Agrium, Border Paving, Altalink).
Sector Breakdown of 38 Responses
Provincial Government Agencies
- Natural Resources Conservation Board
- Alberta Health Services
- Alberta Environment
- Mountain View County
- Kneehill County
- MD of Rockyview
- Clearwater County
- Red Deer County
- City of Red Deer
- Town of Olds
- Town of Penhold
- Town of Sundre
- Town of Trochu
- Town of Threehills
- Town of Rocky Mountain House
- Town of Rimbey
- Town of Didsbury
- Town of Ponoka
- Town of Sylvan Lake
- Village of Caroline
Oil and Gas Industry
- Canadian Natural Resources Limited
- Pengrowth Energy Trust
- Penn West
- Bonavista Petroleum Ltd.
- Husky Energy
- NAL Oil and Gas Trust
- Apache Canada Ltd.
- Keyera Energy Ltd
- Shell Canada
- AltaGas Ltd
- TAQA North Ltd
- QuickSilver Resources
- Imperial Oil
Other Industries and Industry Related Businesses
- Agrium Inc.
- Sunpine Forest Products Ltd
- Border Paving Ltd.
Responses to Survey Questions
- You are aware of the Parkland Airshed Management Zone (PAMZ).
- Agree 13%
- Strongly Agree 79%
- Disagree 3%
- Strongly Disagree 5%
- You are aware of the Parkland Ozone Management Plan.
- Agree 29%
- Strongly Agree 37%
- Disagree 16%
- Strongly Disagree 18%
- You are aware of the potential environmental and health impacts related to ozone.
- Agree 29%
- Strongly Agree 58%
- Disagree 8%
- Strongly Disagree 5%
- Is your organization presently doing anything to help reduce emissions that create ground level ozone?
- Yes 71%
- No 29%
- Description of the initiatives being taken
- Anti-idling policies
- Anti-idling on sites
- The use of anti-idling signs
- Anti-idling policy monitored through vehicle chips
- Public education program on anti-idling
- Motor Vehicles
- Car pooling
- Hybrid fleet vehicles
- Return leased vehicles at 100,000 km.
- Pool vehicles for employees
- Downsize company vehicles
- Oil & Gas & Petrochemical Industries
- Reduced flaring and flare reduction strategy
- Fugitive emission program
- Energy management studies of gas plants
- Vapour recovery on flare stacks
- Stack top temperature reduction - reduced stack top temperature at gas plant
- Look at ways to reduce N0x emissions when any repairs or maintenance are required at facilities
- Reduced emission through VRU compressor, collection tank on dehy-tank (reduces benzene)
- Reducing the consumption of fuel gas and increasing efficiency of facilities
- Power Generation
- Independent power generation
- Electricity generation without emissions
- Corporate Policies
- Company's corporate strategic plan incorporates business aspects with identifying and implementing cost effective emission reduction in operations and implementing best management practices.
- Corporate incentives for public transportation
- ISO 14001 Environmental Certification
- Annual environmental audits
- Conference calling
- Environmental opportunities for new building construction
- Collection of refrigerants from freezers at landfills
- Is your organization willing to take steps in the future to address emissions causing ground level ozone?
- Yes 97%
- No 3%
- Complete an environmental performance assessment of your organization?
- Yes 47%
- No 53%
- Promote awareness about ozone and the ozone management plan to your organization's members or employees?
- Yes 66%
- No 34%
- Look at ways to reduce emissions from your facilities or operations (e.g. compressors, tanks, vehicle idling etc.)?
- Yes 84%
- No 16%
- Develop an anti-idling policy, bylaw or campaign within your organization or community?
- Yes 42%
- No 58%
- Motivate and assist members or employees in your organizations to make behavioral changes (e.g. car pooling alternatives to travelling to meetings such as conference calls or net meetings)?
- Yes 66%
- No 34%
- Find ways to reduce emissions from fleet vehicles (regular maintenance, vehicle heaters, scrapping of older vehicles in provincial "Retire Your Ride" program)?
- Yes 55%
- No 45%
- Other (please elaborate) suggested actions to further reduce ozone.
- Financial incentives
- Stronger regulations by government
- Best management practices for industry
- What resources would help your organization to take action in addressing ozone issues in the Parkland Airshed Management Zone?
- More information about ozone and the Ozone Management Plan?
- Yes 68%
- No 32%
- More information on the "how to's" of carrying out various emission reduction strategies?
- Yes 87%
- No 13%
- More information about what organizations similar to yours are doing in Alberta?
- Yes 87%
- No 13%
- More information about existing regulations and policies already in place?
- Yes 58%
- No 42%
- Would you like to become a PAMZ member and receive the PAMZ newsletter?
- Yes 42%
- No 5%
- Member presently 53%
- More information about ozone and the Ozone Management Plan?
Summary of Questionaire Results
Present Level of Awareness
From the responses received it was clear that most stakeholders were aware of PAMZ, but less aware of the Ozone Management Plan, although many were generally aware of the health and environmental impact of ozone.
While a majority of respondents were taking some steps to reduce emissions that lead to ozone formation, most of these steps were simple actions that were low cost and low maintenance (i.e. car pools, net meetings). However, many oil and gas companies are taking more sophisticated measures: reduced flaring, regular environmental assessments and investigating ways to reduce emissions though their operations and maintenance programs.
Willingness for Future Action
The most popular and accepted approaches to reduce ozone are low cost actions which are easily implemented. Willingness of many respondents to go beyond these low cost actions would require incentives or enforced regulations for organizations.
Resources and Information Needed
A majority of respondents indicated that they would be interested in short informational "how-to" documents to distribute to their organization and employees. Similarly many respondents indicated they would be interested in hearing what other stakeholders are doing to reduce ozone.
Recommendations for Follow Up
In keeping with the threefold purpose of the survey to:
- Assess stakeholder awareness of the Ozone Management Plan and current activities they are taking to reduce ozone in the PAMZ region.
- Gather baseline data to compare and measure voluntary progress toward reducing ozone through future PAMZ surveys.
- Gather feedback to provide direction to PAMZ as to how it can most effectively support stakeholders in future actions to reduce ozone.
It is recommended that: (Related to purpose #1)
- PAMZ share the results of this survey with the respondents and PAMZ members.
- PAMZ contact the 16 respondents who were interested in being members of PAMZ.
It is recommended that: (Related to purpose #2)
- PAMZ carry out a bi-annual survey (next one in early 2012), similar to this questionnaire, in order to measure and assess changes in levels of awareness, activities and needs among stakeholders related to reducing ozone.
It is recommended that: (Related to purpose #3)
- PAMZ develop a number of "how to" leaflets that can help stakeholders take simple, low cost steps in their workplaces and communities to reduce ozone. These "how to" leaflets can be distributed by mail, e- mail, at trade shows, through the website and through workshops and meetings.
- PAMZ continue to gather updates on stakeholder activities to reduce ozone and share these ideas and case studies with other stakeholders.
- PAMZ provide stakeholders with an inventory of current government incentive programs that can help further their activities to reduce ozone.
PAMZ O3 Management Documents
- PAMZs' Ozone Management Plan
- Ozone FAQ
- Ozone Precurser Facts
- Action HERO Program
- Action HERO Application
- Fact Sheet How Municipalites can reduce
- Fact Sheet- How business & individuals can reduce
- Anti-Idle Policy
- Getting Organized
- Individials & Businesses How to's
- Municipalities How to's
- PAMZ-General Ozone Info Fact Sheet
- Pledge Form
- Available Funding Incentives and Resources
- Federal regulations and Initiatives 2011
- PAMZ Action Broc
- PAMZ Annual Poster
- PAMZ AntiIdle Vert
- Provincial Regulations & Initiatives 2011
March 24, 2011 Ozone Workshop Documents
- Ozone Workshop Welcome
- Harold Gold Presentation
- Kevin Warren Presentation
- Myles Kitagawa Presentation
- Sue Arrison Presentation
As an individual or an organization, you can make a difference in air quality by committing to simple changes that will help reduce ozone formation. By taking these steps you take up the challenge of ACTION H.E.R.O. (Action for a Healthy Environment by Reducing Ozone). You can help improve the quality of life for all of us and make our communities a healthier place to live and work. Be an Action HERO, as every action counts. Commit to at least two or three simple steps that will make a difference.
- Public transit, car pool, bike or walk?
- Energy conservation steps at home or work?
- Conference Call instead of driving to a meeting
- Build awareness at home, at work, in your community?
- Reduce vehicular idling and other emissions?
- Regular vehicle maintenance and tire pressure?