How the Palliser Airshed Society Prioritizes Air Quality in Canada

Man Using PurpleAir's Air Quality Map

While Canada is known to have fresh air, relying on sight and smell alone can’t determine if the air quality is truly good. There are air pollutants that are too small for us to detect, but too harmful to ignore.

This is why Palliser Airshed Society (PAS) is educating its community about air quality monitoring. These efforts make air quality data readily accessible and promote air quality as a cherished asset in Medicine Hat, Canada. Beyond that, its mission is to collect and communicate credible air quality data to develop strategies for addressing air quality concerns within the Palliser Airshed. 

We always interact with our PurpleAir Community to see what projects are happening. Together, we’re cultivating a community and empowering members with the data they need to tackle air pollution problems worldwide. Air quality knowledge should be accessible to everyone—and we’re not alone in that mission. 

Today, we’re excited to share how the Palliser Airshed Society (PAS) is actively monitoring the air quality in Canada, and using PurpleAir monitors to expand and improve their networks. 

What is the Palliser Airshed Society?  

The Palliser Airshed Society (PAS) is a non-profit air quality organization in Medicine Hat, Canada. The group collects and communicates air quality data in its community, so they can develop strategies for managing air quality issues in the Medicine Hat / Redcliff region and southeastern Alberta.  

The organization’s goal is to monitor air quality around the clock, have continuous sampling, communicate the collected data to the public, and educate communities about better air quality. 

For trustworthy data, the Palliser Board oversees the air monitoring program, taking public input, industrial factors, and air modeling outcomes into account. PAS then serves as a platform for open discussions and coordination of the challenges this community faces, enabling effective achievement of the society's goals.

PAS manages infrastructure and complies with the Air Monitoring Directive, all while aligning with the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan and Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards in its reports. 

What is Palliser Airshed Society Doing to Raise Air Quality?  

PAS is dedicated to the well-being of its community. It has taken significant steps to enhance air quality monitoring and raise awareness about air pollution in its region. Since the start of its journey in 2003, PAS has evolved to encompass a vast area, now including over 58,000 km2 (22,393 miles) and approximately 139,000 people. 

PAS boasts a comprehensive monitoring network, featuring both continuous and passive stations, providing scientifically credible air quality data. Over the years, PAS has optimized its monitoring programs, enhancing efficiency. 

The latest expansion in 2021 included a new monitoring station in Brooks, Alberta, showcasing PAS's dedication to cleaner air for an ever-growing community. The air quality organization now has three continuous monitoring sites in Medicine Hat, Brooks, and Taber. Plus, it has another sixteen passive sampling sites within the Airshed.

Since its establishment, PAS has continued to: 

  • Monitor Air Quality: PAS is using PurpleAir air quality monitors and collaborating with organizations like Environment and Climate Change Canada to expand their 24/7 monitoring network. PAS is also committed to understanding and communicating air quality issues and the impact. 

  • Involve the Community: The installation of monitors in various communities, the invitation for schools to get involved, the collaboration with the Alberta Airsheds Council (AAC), and the involvement of its stakeholders show that PAS takes a community-centered approach.  

  • Have Environmental Stewardship: By recognizing the importance of accurate and accessible air quality data, PAS is actively contributing to environmental stewardship by educating its community and ensuring responsible resource management. 

In fact, you can find yearly and monthly air quality summary reports from 2004 to the present on the organization’s website. They are free to download for everybody. PAS continuously publishes these in-depth reports for everybody to have access to air quality data at all times. 

How Palliser Airshed Society is Using PurpleAir for Better Networks  

In 2022, PAS purchased and installed three PurpleAir air quality monitors to bolster its surveillance capabilities. Moreover, it collaborated with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) that generously donated 19 PurpleAir air quality monitors to expand its coverage. 

PAS, in true community spirit, has strategically placed these monitors across various communities within its Airshed. These communities include Acadia Valley, Bassano, Bow Island, Brooks, Consort, Duchess, Foremost, Empress, Hanna, Irvine, Jenner, Medicine Hat (Crescent Heights and Desert Blume Golf Course), Milk River, Oyen, Ralston, Raymond, Redcliff, Stirling, Vauxhall, Warner, and Youngstown. 

Moreover, with PurpleAir monitors now installed in these regions, people can see real-time data on the PurpleAir Map and check air quality forecasts anytime. 

PAS's partnership with PurpleAir is a significant step toward a cleaner environment for its community. Its dedication to expanding air quality monitoring coverage is a commendable endeavor that benefits not only the community but also the broader cause of environmental awareness and safety.   

With PAS and PurpleAir, we can confidently say that residents in Medicine Hat, Canada, can now celebrate Clean Air Day without worrying about harmful air pollution when they step outside. 

Get Involved Yourself  

At PurpleAir, there are tons of community projects going on around the world. We’re thrilled to see these kinds of collaborative efforts, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future.  

Are you working on a community project with PurpleAir’s air quality monitors? We would love to hear about it. Share a post in the Community Project forum, so we can highlight your work. Together, we can make air quality accessible for everyone.