The PAMZ Air Quality Monitoring (AQM) Program uses an extensive network of passive monitors to collect air quality data over a large region (42,000 square kilometres). Data is fed into a database used to identify long term air quality trends and assess spatial variability to make regional air quality assessments. PAMZ identifies "hotspots" and can then set up more comprehensive continuous monitoring in those locations. Passive samplers are simple, accurate, detect low sample amounts and are less expensive than continuous monitors. No power is required so they are good for remote locations.

Passive samplers use the scientific principles of permeation and diffusion to sample the compounds we monitor.

The PAMZ Passive Monitoring Network currently consists of thirty-four permanent stations and includes passive data collected at the Red Deer AQM Station. Currently the parameters measured in the network are sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3).Passive monitoring stations are located throughout the zone, generally on a 3 X 3 township grid system. The more developed eastern part of the zone has a higher number of monitors, partly due to access issues further west.

Passive monitoring is conducted year-round at monthly intervals with duplicate samples rotated through 10% of the sites for quality assurance purposes.

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