The Alberta government is committed to managing the long-term cumulative effects of development on the environment at the regional scale. The Land Use Secretariat leads the process for the development of regional plans for government. Alberta Environment and Parks contributes to regional plan development and implementation with content related to environmental and resource management outcomes for air, land, water and biodiversity.
In July 2014 the Government of Alberta approved the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP), which was subsequently amended in May 2018 to incorporate newly established parks and sub-regional plans.
Environmental management frameworks
The plan includes environmental management frameworks for air and surface water quality. It also commits to developing a biodiversity management framework. These frameworks help manage the long-term cumulative effects of development and activities on the regional environment. The frameworks:
- include regional outcomes and objectives
- identify indicators to help understand conditions of the environment
- set regional threshold values, including triggers and limits
- establish a management response if triggers or limits are exceeded
- outline monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements
This proactive management approach helps ensure negative trends are identified early and reduces the risk of exceeding regional ambient limits.
- South Saskatchewan Region Air Quality Management Framework
- South Saskatchewan Region Surface Water Quality Management Framework
Thresholds – Limits and triggers
Management frameworks establish environmental thresholds that can include limits and triggers. Limits are clear boundaries not to be exceeded. Triggers are warning signals that allow for evaluation, adjustment and innovation on an ongoing basis.
This proactive and dynamic management approach helps ensure that:
- trends are identified and assessed
- regional limits are not exceeded
- the environment remains healthy for the region’s residents and ecosystems.
- South Saskatchewan Region Environmental Management Frameworks Fact Sheet
- South Saskatchewan Region Air Quality Management Framework Fact Sheet
- South Saskatchewan Region Surface Water Quality Management Framework Fact Sheet
Annual progress reports
Annual reports document the progress made toward implementing the strategies outlined in SSRP:
Ambient environmental condition
Status reports on ambient environmental monitoring under environmental management frameworks include:
- 2017 Status of Air Quality, South Saskatchewan Region, Alberta
- 2017-2018 Status of Surface Water Quality, South Saskatchewan Region, Alberta
- Status of Air Quality – 2015 and 2016
- Status of Air Quality – 2014
- Status of Surface Water Quality – April 2016 to March 2017
- Status of Surface Water Quality – April 2015 to March 2016
- Status of Water Quality – April 2014 to March 2015
Reports on the status of management response under environmental management frameworks include:
- Status of Management Report Air and Surface Water Quality as of October 2019
- Status of Management Report Air and Surface Water Quality as of October 2018
- Status of Management Report Air and Surface Water Quality as of October 2017
- Status of Management Report Air and Surface Water Quality as of May 2016