Great Plains Air Zone – About

Overview
Membership
Board of Directors
Get Connected

 

The purpose of the airzone association is to collect and share air quality data and information for the geographically defined airshed zone, and to provide a regional forum for the discussion and management of air quality issues.

The Great Plains Air Zone (GPAZ) and its Board of Directors were established in the fall of 2013 as the third air management zone in Saskatchewan. GPAZ covers an area of approximately 40,000 square kilometers. The boundaries of the six Saskatchewan airsheds were established based on common history, meteorology, and funding considerations. Key economic activities in the region include agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas refining, mining, and transportation.


Photo: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

 

Canadian air zones, and their regional airshed associations, were created as a directive of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) under the Canada-wide Air Quality Management System (AQMS). The directive called for the creation of regional airshed associations, that would exist under the umbrella of provincial/territorial air management zones. It is the responsibility of provinces and territories to define and manage air zones within their boundaries. Air zone associations operate as independent, non-profit organizations. GPAZ is comprised of members from: utilities; the mining industry; the oil and gas industry; general industry; the federal and provincial governments; municipalities; associations and special interest groups; and the public.

Operations are funded through voluntary annual membership fees paid by GPAZ members. The board of GPAZ sets a budget each year in March to fund its operation. The budget is then funded by the members according to a formula which is based on the amount of certain pollutant emissions released by the member company as reported through the National Pollution Release Inventory (NPRI). The fees that municipalities pay are determined using populations size. Finally, companies that are registered on the NPRI but do not emit pollutants in the GPAZ funding formula have an option to become members by paying a base fee.

 

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Overview

The Great Plains Air Zone (GPAZ) and its Board of Directors were established in the fall of 2013. The GPAZ is the third official air management zone in Saskatchewan, serving as an air monitoring partnership to benefit the citizens of the province. GPAZ was derived from the directive from the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) under the Canada-wide Air Quality Management System (AQMS). The directive stated that Canada will have regional airsheds comprised of local (Provincial/Territorial) Air Management Zones.

Air management zones use a regional approach to managing air quality. As per the Canada-wide AQMS, provinces and territories are responsible to define and manage air zones within their boundaries. The goal in all air zones will be to drive continuous improvements in air quality. Through the support of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, the GPAZ was formed in order to establish a continuous air monitoring network and create a fair and equitable fee structure for its members. Funding for the ongoing support of the air zone is achieved through its members.

An air zone association is intended to operate as an independent, collaborative non-profit organization of industry, government and other representatives for the purpose of collecting credible, continuous air quality data, and to communicate data and information to member organizations, the government, and the public. There are numerous benefits of participating in the air zone. Along with the positive impacts for the environment, the benefits of participation include:

  1. Providing a primary source for local air quality data and ensuring ease of access of that data through the internet.
  2. Providing a forum for discussion of air issues in the Great Plains Air Zone.
  3. Identifying and prioritizing air quality issues in the air zone.
  4. Cooperation and integration with other Saskatchewan air zones for the sharing of information.
  5. Communication and education directed to the public regarding air quality and impacts to the environment.
  6. Sharing operating costs through an equitable funding formula that supports sustainability of the air zone.
  7. Providing an opportunity to build relationships among stakeholders.
 

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Membership

Our membership supports air quality monitoring 

GPAZ members support air quality monitoring in the airshed and the provision of air quality information that is of interest to a diverse group of stakeholders in the region.

Our members come from a variety of disciplines and include representatives from various industries, multiple levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and the public. When you become a member of GPAZ, you will connect with other professionals and volunteers who want to ensure that the ambient air quality in the region is not harmful to human health and the environment.

Becoming a member enables you to engage and be active while you share your perspective.

Membership Benefits

You will receive a wide range of benefits, including:

Become a Member

If you have any questions regarding membership or if you would like to become a member please email GPAZair@sasktel.net

2018 – 19 Member list

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

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Board of Directors

 

Kendi Young – Environmental Affairs Supervisor, Co-Op Refinery Complex (Chair)

 

Bob Schutzman – Director, Environmental Affairs – Canada, Evraz North America (Vice Chair)

Bob Schutzman is the Director of Environmental Affairs for Canada for Evraz Inc. NA Canada, a Canada-wide, multi-plant management role he has filled since 1998. Bob has been involved in a number of community and professional boards focused on environmental issues. He was a Founding Director and past Chair of the Saskatchewan Environmental Industry and Managers Association. Mr. Schutzman is a Professional Engineer who has held environmental management positions as a consultant, regulator and in industry.

 

Jim Elliott – Saskatchewan Eco Network (Secretary Treasurer) 

Jim, with his University of Regina Bachelor of Science and Laboratory Technology, has worked with various environmental organizations in Saskatchewan as citizen scientist, board member or representative for the Saskatchewan Eco-Network, a network for environmental groups in Saskatchewan. He is also chair of the Health Caucus of the Canadian Environmental Network, its national counterpoint.

The Saskatchewan Eco Network (SEN) is a non-profit, non-government organization that connects environmentalists – within the province and across Canada – promoting active networking among member groups. SEN members can share information, skills, publicity vehicles, and other resources through the network. The SEN helps members, media, government personnel, and the general public connect with those who have skills and information they need.

 

Jennifer May – Saskatchewan Lung Association

Jennifer began working for The Lung Association in 1998 as a Health Education Coordinator, after completing her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Saskatchewan.  She worked in that position for five years before accepting a position with Health Canada where she worked for seven years in the Tobacco Control Programme in the SK/MB region and then another two years as the Learning Advisor for the Human Resources Department. In March of 2010, Jennifer accepted a position to return to The Lung Association as the Vice-President of Health Promotion and Community Engagement.

Jennifer’s duties are to coordinate and manage health promotion and community engagement activities, including advocacy initiatives for tobacco control and environmental concerns related to respiratory health.

 

Todd Johnston – Yara Belle Plaine Upstream

Todd completed the Environmental Systems Engineering program from the University of Regina and is registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGS.  So far his career has been with Yara Belle Plaine Inc., where he supports the operation of the nitrogen fertilizer facility as the Quality and Environmental Engineer.  He believes that monitoring ambient air quality throughout the Great Plains Air Zone is an important task that helps build an honest relationship between industry, government and most important, members of the public.  He looks forward to continuing the important work of GPAZ.

 

Aimee Ottenbreit – Environment, Health, Safety and Security (EHSS) Manager, Mosaic – Belle Plaine

Aimee graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Chemical Engineering.  She is a professional engineer with over 15 years experience in the potash industry, working in several different capacities during this time including mine & process engineering and continuous improvement before accepting her most recent role of EHSS Manager for Mosaic’s Belle Plaine location.  The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading integrated producer and marketer of concentrated
phosphate and potash.

 

Murray Hilderman – Executive Director Great Plains Air Zone

Murray has over a decade of experience in the air quality and air zone management areas. He worked
on the development of the national Air Quality Management System and the establishment of Saskatchewan’s Air Zones. He also has over 10 years of Board experience at educational institutions and has served on all of Saskatchewan’s Air Zones in a variety of roles.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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