Air Dispersion Modelling

Air dispersion modelling is a method of predicting the ground level concentration of one or more sources of air pollutants.

Ground level ambient concentrations of pollutants are predicted using information such as:

  • Land use (urban/rural)
  • Meteorological data (wind speed, temperature)
  • Pollutant source information (mass emission rate/stack gas temperature/flow rate)
  • Terrain characteristics

Results from this modelling are used to determine if an industrial air pollutant source is in compliance with ambient air quality objectives.

Air Quality Model Guideline 2021

Air quality modelling in Alberta required for regulatory applications must follow Alberta’s Air Quality Model Guideline. The 2021 version of the guideline will come into force on November 15, 2021. All air quality modelling for regulatory applications started on or after this date must follow this guideline.

The guideline has been posted on the Open Government Portal and may be found here:

(Draft) Interpretation of Air Quality Modelling Results for Regulatory Applications in Alberta 2024

A draft guideline to assist with interpreting dispersion air quality modelling undertaken in Alberta as per the Air Quality Model Guideline titled, '(Draft) Interpretation of Air Quality Modelling Results for Regulatory Applications in Alberta 2024', is available for public comment until midnight January 12, 2024. For consideration all comments must be directed in writing to [email protected] on or before the above closing date.

Regulatory Meteorological Data

An important component of any air quality modelling assessment is the meteorological data to be used. Information on the meteorological data to be used for regulatory applications is discussed in the Air Quality Model Guideline. A link to detailed information on this data, and how to obtain it is provided below:

Non-Routine Flaring Management

The Alberta government issued a guidance document for the modelling of non-routine flaring.

Additional information is available on the Alberta Energy Regulator website at:


For additional information related to air quality modelling in Alberta:
Email: [email protected]

To be notified of any changes regarding air quality modelling requirements in the future add “AQM Notify” to the subject header and indicate clearly in the body of the text the email address to which any notifications should be sent. To be removed from any notifications regarding these requirements similarly include “AQM No Notify” in the subject header.

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