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Air Quality Index

Air Quality Index

green: good (25 or less) Good (25 or less)
yellow: acceptable (26 to 50) Acceptable (26 to 50)
red: poor (51 and more) Poor (51 and more)
Determining Air Quality Conditions

The Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques has developed an information and awareness tool called the “Air Quality Index” (AQI). The public and decision-makers can use this tool to determine the amount of air pollutants present in the air of certain regions.

A unique feature of the index is the clearness of the categories that are used to measure air quality conditions: “good”, “acceptable”, or “poor”.

Click to enlarge - Regions of Québec covered by the Air Quality Index (AQI).
Regions of Québec covered by the Air Quality Index (AQI)S

The AQI is calculated and updated each hour, based on measurements taken by air quality monitoring stations (Format PDF402 Ko) located across Québec. The elements that are used to make calculations include ozone, fine particles, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Regional Air Quality …

The air quality index is presented according to two spatial representation scales. Regionally, the AQI is calculated for the same regions as those used by the Info-Smog forecast program because this level is characteristic of the smog situation.

… and Local Air Quality (sectors)

Locally, human activities related to industry, automobile traffic and residential wood burning can create a different air quality than the region as a whole. Therefore, for some sectors, an index with a more local representation is calculated. These sectors are represented on the map by circles and their colour associated with the index may differ from the index for the overall region.

Air Quality: Yesterday, Today, Each Year

AQI values and their related information messages are displayed. Online users can also track changes in AQI components for current or previous days and obtain annual statistics for each region and sector. From this page, online users can consult the most recent forecast bulletin published by Environment Canada for the evening and next day.

Additional Stations
Over the years, new regions have been added to the area the AQI covers:

  • 2009 : La Tuque;
  • 2008 : Mont-Laurier;
  • 2005 : Témiscouata – Rivière-du-Loup
  • 2004 : Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

The AQI is produced by the Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques in cooperation with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, Environment Canada and the City of Montréal. Information for the Montréal Island is posted according to the method the Ministère uses for the rest of Québec.

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