Fort Chipewyan 1
Aug 22/14 11:00 am
Fort McKay 1
Aug 22/14 11:00 am
Fort McKay South 1
Aug 22/14 11:00 am
Fort McMurray 1
Aug 22/14 11:00 am

History & Evolution

Home // About WBEA // History & Evolution

Attention: open in a new window. Print

Even before the unprecedented growth of the oil sands industry in this region, it was accepted that an organization like the WBEA was necessary:

  • In 1985, Fort McKay First Nation expressed concern about the environment.
  • In response, government and industry formed an Air Quality Task Force which described issues, established priorities and recommended on-going dialogue and a consensus based approach to air quality concerns.
  • Air Quality Task Force became the Regional Air Quality Coordinating Committee (RAQCC). RAQCC prioritized regional air quality concerns and coordinated a program to manage air quality in the region.
  • In 1993, the Government of Alberta developed a regional approach to air quality monitoring under the umbrella of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA).
  • In 1997, RAQCC was reformed into the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA).
  • CASA formally endorsed the WBEA monitoring program in 1996. In 1997, the WBEA assumed responsibility for ownership and operation of a regional consolidated air quality monitoring network in the Wood Buffalo region.
  • Capital costs were originally provided by Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada Limited.
  • Alberta Environment provided equipment on a long term basis, as well as expertise and in-kind contributions.
  • In 1999, WBEA implemented an ecological monitoring program, Terrestrial Environmental Effects Monitoring (TEEM).
  • In 2005, WBEA implemented the ongoing Human Exposure Monitoring Program (HEMP).
  • Membership, funding and in-kind contributions have continued to rise with the increase in industrial activity.