Air Quality

Air quality and the discharge of air contaminants are regulated at the Federal, Provincial and Metro Vancouver levels.

Air Quality

What are the air quality regulatory requirements?

Air quality and the discharge of air contaminants are regulated at the Federal, Provincial and Metro Vancouver levels.

Federal Requirements

The Environment Canada National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Program is Canada’s legislated, publicly-accessible inventory of pollutant releases (to air, water and land), disposals and transfers for recycling. Under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, owners or operators of facilities that meet published reporting requirements are required to report to the NPRI

Provincial Regulations

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target Act (GGRTA) sets aggressive legislated targets for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG). Under the Act, B.C.’s GHG emissions are to reduce by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020. Interim reduction targets of six per cent by 2012 and 18 per cent by 2016 will guide and measure progress. A further emission-reduction target of 80 per cent below 2007 levels is required for 2050.

The BC Carbon Neutral Government Regulation 392, 2008 requires all public sector organizations to measure reduce and offset GHG emissions from buildings, vehicle fleets and paper use.

Metro Vancouver Regulations

The regulation of emissions from industrial, commercial and institutional stationary sources aims to minimize emissions, thereby avoiding adverse health impacts and environmental degradation.

Metro Vancouver Air Quality Management Bylaw 1082, 2008 (PDF), includes general prohibition to discharge air contaminants that cause pollution. It also uses a permitting system to manage the nature and quantity of emissions from large emitters of air contaminants.

Metro Vancouver Boilers and Process Heaters Emission Regulation Bylaw 1087, 2008 (PDF), uses emission regulations as an alternative to issuing site-specific permits to manage the air emissions from certain types of individual industrial, commercial or institutional sources.

The Non-Road Diesel Engine Emission Regulation Bylaw No. 1161, 2012 (PDF), aims to reduce diesel emissions from industrial and construction machines, as emissions of diesel soot (particulate matter) are responsible for 67% of the lifetime cancer risk from air pollution in Metro Vancouver.

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What operations and activities are affected by air quality?

Learn which UBC operations and activities are affected by air quality regulation, and what you need to do to maintain compliance.

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What are the air quality management procedures?

For air quality procedures see: Air Quality Management Procedures (PDF)

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What is the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and UBC’s most current NPRI report?

The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) is Canada’s legislated, publicly-accessible inventory of pollutants released, disposed of and recycled by industrial, institutional and commercial facilities across the country.

The NPRI is used for identifying and monitoring sources of pollution and developing indicators for air, land, and water quality. Under this legislation, the university provides Environment and Climate Change Canada with an annual report of air emissions from UBC Utilities. Also refer to Environment Canada’s Criteria Air Contaminants and related pollutants.

View the most recent NPRI annual report summary for criteria air contaminants released by the UBC Bioenergy Research & Demonstration Facility (BRDF) and Campus Energy Centre (CEC). Note: The bolded values in the BRDF column show contaminants above threshold values, which require reporting. UBC voluntarily reports for the CEC.

Contaminant BRDF – 2019 Releases from Wood-based Biomass & Natural Gas Combustion (Tonnes) CEC – 2019 Releases from Natural Gas & Diesel Combustion (Tonnes) NPRI Reporting Threshold – Annual Air Release Qty (Tonnes)
Carbon Monoxide 6.8 14 20
Nitrogen Oxides (expressed as NO2) 31.7 5.7 20
Sulphur Dioxide 2.1 1.2 20
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) 3.0 0.92 10
Total Particulate Matter (PM) 0.45 0.16 20
PM10 0.45 0.10 0.5
PM2.5 0.45 0.09 0.3


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