The Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) has announced the expansion of its northern border, extending the CRAZ zone.

CRAZ monitors are used to analyze and provide air quality education to the City of Calgary, Towns of Banff, Airdrie, Strathmore and Crossfield, and the expansion of its border means that CRAZ will also provide air quality knowledge and expertise to all areas encompassed in Rocky View County as well as the M.D of Bighorn.

CRAZ Executive Director, Jill Bloor says that the Northern expansion will give them an opportunity to serve all the areas in those municipalities which they couldn't previously.

She says "For CRAZ this was an opportunity to serve those citizens in Rocky View and in Bighorn, that we hadn't been able to serve before. Both Rocky View and the M.D of Bighorn are members of CRAZ and have been since the inception of CRAZ."

CRAZ brought its Portable Air Monitoring Lab (PAML) into the Town of Cochrane back in April, which is currently parked in Mitford Park and will be there until the end of September. The unit has specialized equipment inside to monitor the town's air quality. Bloor says that Cochrane's Air Quality hasn't been of specific concern however, she notes that a lot of people want or need to know the air quality before spending time outside exercising. The data collected from the PAML will be reviewed by CRAZ's technical committee and Air Quality Program Manager upon removal, at which time it will have collected data for a full calendar year in town. 

Bloor says that by extending the borders of its services, there will be consistent messaging and monitoring of both Rocky View County and Bighorn.

She says "So whatever programs we offer in our education programs, our outreach will encompass those whole areas. It gives us a little bit more consistent message to those two areas. So they don't have to think oh, wait a second I live in Rocky View but is it Parkland Airshed or is it CRAZ? ...It's CRAZ."

Bloor says that there are ten Airsheds in Alberta work together as part of the Alberta Airshed Council to maintain a high quality of air quality management. 

Regularly updated reports on the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) in Cochrane are available in real time online or through the free AQHI Canada phone app.