Part of Air quality

Air quality management

Learn about Alberta’s air quality management system and how air quality can be affected by both natural and human sources.


Alberta has a comprehensive air quality management system that is used to address air quality issues and concerns. The following document gives an overview of Alberta's air management system.

Air quality can be affected by both natural and human sources. When substances from these sources accumulate in the atmosphere, air quality can degrade and affect human and ecosystem health.

One result of anthropogenic emissions (emissions from human activities) is smog which contains primarily fine particulate matter and ground level ozone.

To ensure that policies are developed based on proven methods, up-to-date technologies, the current state of scientific research, and are aligned with leading jurisdictions, from time to time Alberta will conduct or contract out for assessment reports into various aspects of air quality management.

The International Review of Non-Attainment Area Air Quality Management Tools and Techniques report assesses systems and tools used by leading jurisdictions in regulating and managing stressed airsheds – those exceeding established air quality limits and/or objectives.

The Air Pollution Control Technology Review for the Chemical and Fertilizer Sectors report provides a range of commercially available pollution prevention and control technologies currently available for major air emission sources at chemical and fertilizer plants. The document also includes a review of environmental regulatory requirements leading jurisdictions apply to the chemical and fertilizer sectors.

Elements of Alberta’s Air Quality Management System

Alberta’s management system includes a number of elements that address province wide air quality, down to emissions from individual industrial facilities.

National Air Quality Management System

The National Air Quality Management System is a comprehensive collaborative approach for reducing air pollution in Canada. Alberta is integrating the national system into its overall air quality management system.

Provincial Air Quality Management

Alberta's Air Quality Management System uses a comprehensive approach to managing air quality, including industrial approvals, ambient air monitoring, management frameworks and regional planning.

Regional Planning

Alberta has committed to addressing cumulative environmental impacts through regional plans under the Land Use Framework.

One aspect of regional plans is Air Quality Management Frameworks which are being used to accomplish cumulative effects management. These frameworks identify regional objectives and set regional thresholds (such as triggers, targets and limits).

To find out more about regional Management Frameworks, see:

Industrial Management

Industrial air quality management in Alberta is managed primarily through environmental assessment, approvals and enforcement.