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Saskatchewan air quality in good shape according to government report

Natalie Thomas, reporter
August 31, 2012 — When it comes to air quality, Saskatchewan is in good shape -- that's according to a new government report, which looked at the province's air quality over a 10-year period.

Riding your bike to work is a great way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Riding your bike to work is a great way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A 10-year report into the province's air quality reveals that, when it comes to the five major pollutants measured in Canada - sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter - the province is in an ideal position.

“We tend to have very good air quality in Saskatchewan just due to the nature of the topography, just due to the nature of industry in the province," explained Kevin McCallum, chief engineer at the Ministry of Environment. "We have very good air quality when we do the calculations throughout the region, we tend to fall under what’s called the ‘green zone’ where all the levels tend to fall very low and as such we are actually in quite a good place right now.”  

So how to does one determine air quality within a region?

"The air quality is normally calculated as a common number under the Air Quality Index," said McCallum. "And that Air Quality Index is a calculation using particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide.” 

The ministry also works with other provinces and territories, as well as the federal government, to ensure its monitoring is consistent with the rest of the country -- but for now, Saskatchewanians are doing whatever it takes, to keep their province on top of the list. 

“As much as possible I try to bike around and go long boarding, " said one Saskatoon resident. "Try and pick places that maybe are a little closer to home where I don’t have to get in my vehicle.”

To check out what the air quality is like in your community, visit the Air Quality Cities Index page.

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