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June 2017 Newsletter

New continuous air monitoring station installed in Yorkton!

In May 2017 GPAZ installed its third continuous air monitoring station in Yorkton. The station is already online and hourly data is available for all three GPAZ stations on the website. In addition, summary reports will be posted for each month and compiled each year in the GPAZ annual report. The data collected in these sites will add to our understanding of the current air quality in the Air Zone.

GPAZ would like to thank the City of Yorkton for their assistance in this process and for their ongoing support. 
Notice of GPAZ 2017 Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 8:15am - 9:30am
Co-op Refinery Business Office Boardroom - 580 Park St. Regina
The 2017 GPAZ Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. All members are encouraged to attend in order to learn more about the recent work of GPAZ, and vote on resolutions and board appointments.
If you are a current member of GPAZ, you will soon receive a full AGM package by mail including:
  • the meeting agenda
  • minutes of the last AGM
  • list of proposed resolutions
If you are not currently a member of GPAZ, but are curious about becoming one, the AGM is a great opportunity to come meet many of the people involved. You can RSVP to

2016 GPAZ Annual Report

The Great Plains Air Zone annual air monitoring report is now available for download with all other reports on our website, or by clicking here. The report contains a summary of the activities of GPAZ, including air monitoring data, for the calendar year January to December 2016.
Recent stories and research about air quality

[released February 27, 2017]

Woodstoves are good for the soul, bad for the heart

Researchers from McGill and Health Canada find that air pollution from wood burning linked to increased risk of heart attacks in seniors

The risk of acute myocardial infarction for the elderly living in and around small cities is increased by air pollution caused by biomass burning from woodstoves. 

It is well documented that air pollution in big cities causes heart and lung problems. But what are its consequences on people in smaller urban centres?

By comparing pollution data from three cities in British Columbia (Prince George, Kamloops and Courtenay/Comox) with hospital admissions, researchers from McGill and Health Canada found that rising concentrations of fine particulate air pollution caused by wood burning were associated with increased hospitalization for myocardial infarction. During the cold season, when pollution from woodstoves is at its highest, the risk of heart attacks among subjects of 65 years and older increased by 19%.

“We noticed that the association was stronger when more of the air pollution came from wood burning, says McGill University professor Scott Weichenthal, lead author of a new study published in Epidemiology. This suggests that the source of pollution matters and that all particulate air pollution is perhaps not equally harmful when it comes to cardiovascular disease.”

Improving public health
Scott Weichenthal thinks the findings might push cities across Canada to tackle air pollution caused by fireplaces and woodstoves. Increasing winter smog alerts have prompted cities such as Montreal to bring forward bylaws forcing homeowners to register and, eventually, replace their stoves with cleaner sources of heating. The study, says Weichenthal, gives credence to “initiatives aimed at reducing air pollution from residential wood burning in the interest of public health.”

This work was funded by Health Canada.

“Biomass Burning as a Source of Ambient Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Acute Myocardial Infarction,” by Scott Weichenthal et al in Epidemiology:

Contact:Justin Dupuis, McGill University, Media Relations 514-398-6751

"The humble visionary" - the story of Brian Graham

In this article (link above) from the Regina Leader-Post, meet Brian Graham - a Saskatchewan-based engineer and CEO of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan.
During his prolific career, Brian contributed to research and the creation of new technologies that advanced understanding of the effects of air pollution on lung health.

The Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science is a centre based in Alberta with the aim of "delivering high-quality knowledge and education to enhance wildland fire management, public awareness and safety, and to help promote healthy and productive ecosystems."

Check out their Canadian Wildland Fire & Smoke Newsletter to learn more about the important research and education work being done in this field - work that aligns with GPAZ's goals of promoting public awareness of air quality issues.

Members of the Great Plains Air Zone

Click on the name of any organization below to learn more about them. 

The Canadian Salt Company Limited
Consumer's Co-operative Refineries Limited
Evraz Inc. North America Canada
General Scrap Partnership
K & S Potash Canada GP 
Louis Dreyfus Company Yorkton Production ULC 
Moose Jaw Refinery Partnership 
Mosaic Canada ULC 
City of Regina

Saskatchewan Eco Network
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
Terra Grain Fuels Inc. 
TransCanada Corporation 
TransGas Limited
Viterra Inc. 
Yara Belle Plaine Inc. 
City of Yorkton
Sask Eco Network

If you're interested in becoming a member, please contact us!

Upcoming GPAZ Meetings

The Great Plains Air Zone is a non-profit organization of public, industry, government, and non-government members. Members of GPAZ meet regularly at board and committee meetings. New members are always welcome. 

The Board meets quarterly. Board current focus: Governance and staffing, membership development, financial management, communications, networking and discussion of regulations. 
Tentative meeting schedule:
  • August 16, 2017
  • November 15, 2017
The Science committee meets every two months. Current focus: Current and future air monitoring. Long range plan for air monitoring in the Zone. 
Tentative meeting schedule:
  • August 09, 2017
  • October 11, 2017
  • December 13, 2017
The communications committee has recently been created. Current focus: Developing communications objectives and an implementation plan. 
  • June 26, 2017
GPAZ is now on Facebook and Twitter! Follow us to keep up to date on our work and air quality issues

Contact us

Stephen Weiss, Executive Director  
Mobile: 306-537-5050  Office:  306-352-1942    
Victoria Square P.O. Box 32146 Regina, SK  S4N 7L2

Great Plains Air Zone
Copyright © 2017 Great Plains Air Zone, All rights reserved.

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