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TitleAir synthesis review: polycyclic aromatic compounds in the oil sands region
AuthorHarner, T; Rauert, C; Muir, D; Schuster, J K; Hsu, Y -M; Zhang, L; Marson, G; Watson, J G; Ahad, JORCID logo; Cho, S; Jariyasopit, N; Kirk, J; Korosi, J; Landis, M S; Martin, J W; Zhang, Y; Fernie, K; Wentworth, G R; Wnorowski, A; Dabek, E; Charland, J -P; Pauli, B; Wania, F; Galarneau, E; Cheng, I; Makar, P; Whaley, C; Chow, J C; Wang, X
SourceEnvironmental Reviews vol. 26, 2018 p. 430-468, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180203
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceAlberta; Saskatchewan; Northwest Territories
NTS73E; 73F; 73K; 73L; 73M; 73N; 74C; 74D; 74E; 74F; 74K; 74L; 74M; 74N; 75C; 75D; 83E; 83F; 83G; 83H; 83I; 83J; 83K; 83L; 83M; 83N; 83O; 83P; 84; 85A; 85B; 85C; 85D
AreaFort McMurray; Fort MacKay; Anzac; Fort Chipewyan; Lake Athabasca; Cold Lake; Peace River; Athabasca River; Hilda Lake; Ethal Lake
Lat/Long WENS-120.0000 -108.0000 61.0000 53.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; fossil fuels; geochemistry; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; petroleum resources; hydrocarbons; oil sands; mining activities; aromatic hydrocarbons; pollution; concentration; deposition; source areas; models; ecosystems; atmospheric geochemistry; sediments; soils; vegetation; Alberta Oil Sands Region; Athabasca Oil Sands; Cold Lake Oil Sands; Peace River Oil Sands; Air pollution; cumulative effects; Emissions; monitoring; Health impact; Wildlife; Air pollution
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; tables; diagrams; time series; geoscientific sketch maps; bar graphs; graphs; flow diagrams; spectra
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Sources
Released2018 08 23
AbstractThis air synthesis review presents the current state of knowledge on the sources, fates, and effects for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) and related chemicals released to air in the oil sands region (OSR) in Alberta, Canada. Through the implementation of the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Program in 2012 a vast amount of new information on PACs has been acquired through directed monitoring and research projects and reported to the scientific community and public. This new knowledge addresses questions related to cumulative effects and informs the sustainable management of the oil sands resource while helping to identify gaps in understanding and priorities for future work. As a result of this air synthesis review on PACs, the following topics have been identified as new science priorities: (i) improving emissions reporting to better account for fugitive mining emissions of PACs that includes a broader range of PACs beyond the conventional polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including, inter alia, alkylated-PAHs (alk-PAHs), dibenzothiophene (DBT), alk-DBTs, nitro-PAHs, oxy-PAHs including quinones and thia- and aza-arenes; (ii) improving information on the ambient concentrations, long-range transport, and atmospheric deposition of these broader classes of PACs and their release (with co-contaminants) from different types of mining activities; (iii) further optimizing electricity-free and cost-effective approaches for assessing PAC deposition (e.g., snow sampling, lichens, passive ambient sampling) spatially across the OSR and downwind regions; (iv) designing projects that integrate monitoring efforts with source attribution models and ecosystem health studies to improve understanding of sources, receptors, and effects; (v) further optimizing natural deposition archives (e.g., sediment, peat, tree rings) and advanced forensic techniques (e.g., isotope analysis, marker compounds) to provide better understanding of sources of PACs in the OSR over space and time; (vi) conducting process research to improve model capabilities for simulating atmospheric chemistry of PACs and assessing exposure to wildlife and humans; and (vii) developing tools and integrated strategies for assessing cumulative risk to wildlife and humans by accounting for the toxicity of the mixture of chemicals in air rather than on a single compound basis.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A group of experts has reviewed, documented and summarized the available information on atmospheric emissions, ecological effects, and modeling of polycyclic aromatic compounds in Canada¿s oil sands region (OSR). Gaps in their collective understanding were used to identify areas for future work. The key conclusions and recommendations are summarized and will inform and help to better integrate the next phase of research and monitoring in the OSR. The insights from the report will also provide guidance to policy and industry on measures for ensuring the sustainable development of hydrocarbon resources in the OSR.

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