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Canada air quality regulations and monitoring


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are important in the global context of climate change. Other air emissions associated with oil and natural gas development are important at the local and regional level because they can cause odours, acid rain, and ‘smog’. These emissions include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and very fine particles (particulates) created from fuel combustion in facilities and vehicles. Dust from roads and other operations can also impact air quality.

Air quality regulations and monitoring

Provinces manage air quality including regulation of industrial emissions, air monitoring, setting air quality objectives, and reporting air quality. Alberta has an air quality management system to address air issues and concerns. In British Columbia, the air quality regulatory framework is managed through the Environmental Management Act and Waste Discharge Regulation.

The industry is required to monitor and report emissions. Over the past 40 years, the Government of Alberta has been conducting environmental monitoring activities under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. As natural resource development activities have increased significantly in that time, it’s also important to understand cumulative effects (the combined effects from more than one operator) at local and regional levels.

Climate and Emissions

Methane Emissions

Climate Change