Air Quality

Last updated February 28, 2022

What measures has Montréal adopted to monitor air quality? How are industrial atmospheric emissions verified? Here’s what you need to know.

Air pollution concentrations are measured regularly at 11 sampling stations in Montréal. The Réseau de surveillance de la qualité de l’air (RSQA) publishes the results of its analysis via aninteractive map (in French). To monitor changes in data, the scientific community can also consult the RSQA open data to track air quality.

Throughout the year, Montréal also inspects companies to ensure that current standards and regulatory requirements are respected. Corrective measures may be required if atmospheric emissions are judged to be problematic.

Wood heating

Do you have a solid-fuel-burning fireplace or stove (wood, ecological logs, coal, pellets)? You must register it. To use your appliance, it must conform with current standards. A permit is also necessary to install, replace or remove it. In case of a SMOG alert in Montréal, you cannot use your fireplace or stove. A fine may be issued.

Motor vehicle idling

In Montréal, leaving the engine of a vehicle idling when it is stationary is prohibited. The purpose of the regulation is to maintain air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Permits for companies

Establishments whose activities generate air pollution must hold a permit. To receive one, they must provide proof that their equipment complies with the criteria for obtaining a permit and current by-laws and regulations. Once a permit has been granted, sampling will be taken to measure the amounts of pollutants discharged into the air. Concentrations will be used to verify that regulatory requirements and standards are respected. 

Reporting an issue

You can report a situation that seems abnormal or suspicious relating to air quality. Complaints are analyzed within 24 working hours, or on Monday if they are sent during the weekend. You will be advised of the measures taken.

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