Air quality monitoring and reporting

Tracking the amount of pollution in Canada's air is important to understanding how our air quality is changing, and the potential impacts on our health and the environment. Environment and Climate Change Canada, working with its partners in government and industry, collects measurements of air quality across Canada.  This information helps to determine the sources of air pollution in Canada, and how it affects our air quality. There are two major ways of collecting information on air quality:

Air Quality Monitoring

Environment and Climate Change Canada, working with the provinces and territories, monitors air pollution across Canada with networks of air quality measurement stations. Information from these networks is used by scientists and decision-makers to track and understand changes in our air quality, determine the effectiveness of air quality regulations, and identify new concerns.  Researchers also depend on these measurements to develop and test complex air quality models that can be used to produce air quality forecasts for major Canadian centers, or to understand the potential effects of proposed regulations, new technologies, and other changes in the environment.

Emissions reporting and inventories

Environment and Climate Change Canada collects information on air pollution produced by industrial activities when the pollutants are released from a single, identifiable source, such as a factory smokestack.   Industrial facilities report information on their pollutant releases once a year, as required by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999).  This information is compiled into emissions inventories, which are used to understand sources of industrial air pollution in Canada, and the effectiveness of regulations.

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