Air quality in Regina falls into ‘high risk’ category Saturday morning: Environment Canada

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Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a special statement regarding the Regina's air quality Saturday morning, citing high levels of nitrous oxide.  (Liam O'Connor/CBC - image credit)

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a special statement regarding the Regina’s air quality Saturday morning, citing high levels of nitrous oxide. (Liam O’Connor/CBC – image credit)

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a special statement on air quality in Regina on Saturday morning, warning of poor air quality levels in the city due to high levels of nitrous oxide.

The city reached the “moderate risk” air quality category around 3 a.m. and the “high risk” category around 7 a.m. CST, according to Environment Canada’s website.

The agency’s special statement on air quality ended around noon.

Environment Canada meteorologist Justin Scheer said the poor air quality is likely the result of certain weather patterns that incorporate industrial pollutants.

“It’s more of a localized phenomenon at this point, it’s only happening in Regina. I think there’s some kind of plant or something there that could be causing the levels to rise,” Shea said.

“The weather conditions we’re dealing with right now are undergoing a nice inversion, which means warmer air is in the upper atmosphere.” [and] “There’s cold air below,” he said.

“Particulates and pollutants in the air get trapped and concentrated in this inversion, which actually causes air quality levels to rise.”

Scheer said poor air quality should improve in the evening and overnight.

At its peak, air quality was rated 7 on the Canada Environmental Index, which is at the lower end of the “high risk” category.

At that time, Environment Canada will advise those at risk from the effects of poor air quality to reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities, while the general public will , people should consider doing so if they have symptoms such as a cough or sore throat.

By early afternoon, air quality in the city was rated a 5 on the scale, putting it in the “moderate risk” category.

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