Fort McKay air quality study lacking: First Nation – Northern Journal

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Fort McKay air quality study lacking: First Nation – Northern Journal

by ahnationtalk on June 10, 2015515 Views

June 8, 2015

A new study on air quality in Fort McKay asserts the community in the heart of Alberta’s oilsands can breathe easy without fear for their health, but the First Nation says the research only gives half of the story.

A recent paper by Warren Kindzierski of the University of Alberta concluded air pollution in Fort McMurray, Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan is not a threat to public health, after reviewing air quality data over a 15-year period.

While the community feels fortunate to have that kind of long-term data, Fort McKay First Nation’s senior environment and regulatory manager Daniel Stuckless called the study “partial,” saying the parameters monitored for may apply in larger city centres, but do not take into consideration the unique reality of living amid the oilsands.

“Those contaminants are typically looked for in assessing air quality in major centres and commonly used across the world, but they’re not really entirely appropriate just for the oilsands region, and particularly the community that lives in the middle of the boreal forest amongst all this industry,” he said. “There’s a lot more that’s emitted from stacks or tailings pipes or off tailings ponds that are not measured on a daily basis and are not factored into the assessment on good or poor air quality.”

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