We’re very fortunate in Alberta to breathe clean air. In fact, we rarely need to think about the air quality since we have one of the most comprehensive air quality management systems in Canada, thanks in part to the original Clean Air Strategy.
However, a lot has changed since the original Clean Air Strategy was released in 1991. An increase in population, development, and technology advancements have encouraged the Government of Alberta to shift to a more holistic and outcomes-based approach to resource management. This integrated approach allows us to consider the cumulative impacts of our activities and decisions so we can better balance our social, environmental, and economic needs.
This is why we’ve renewed our Clean Air Strategy and set out a 10-year action plan.
Protecting our air is a role we all play and Albertans from across the province have said they want to be involved. Many took part in the comprehensive Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) consultations where they assessed air quality perceptions, evaluated issues, and identified key action areas. Their feedback determined the focus areas seen in Clearing the Air: Alberta’s Renewed Clean Air Strategy and the Clearing the Air: Action Plan.
Safeguarding our air is vital to our health and quality of life. The government commits to improving air quality management by ensuring resource development decisions consider the environmental effects on our air, land, water, and wildlife to protect and sustain ecosystems.
A sustainable future means having a healthy economy as well as a healthy environment. Both can be possible with careful planning and foresight. Regional air quality objectives will ensure economic benefits do not come at the expense of our air quality. Innovative research and technology development will increase the potential to reduce and even prevent emissions.
Keeping our clean air is important to Albertans. By having access to reliable information we can learn how our actions impact air quality and the changes we can make at home, at work, and at play.
By all taking part, we can ensure we continue to breathe easy for generations to come. For more information, visit: clearingtheair.alberta.ca.
Leigh Allard, the President and CEO of The Lung Association, answers questions about Alberta’s renewed Clean Air Strategy.