Health Protection & Air Quality

HPAQB applications for approval for proposed and existing facilities with major emission

The town’s Health Protection Air Quality By-law 2010-035, requires that an application for approval by a proposed or existing facility with a major health-risk air pollutant emission be posted for public comment for 30 days prior to the meeting when the application will be considered by Town Council. For details on the applications please visit the HPAQB application page.


After a period of public review and comment, the town passed Health Protection Air Quality By-law 2010-035 on February 1, 2010, and amended the by-law in July 2012.

Health Protection Air Quality By-law 2010-035 (pdf, 63 kB)
By-law 2010-118 amendment (pdf, 19 kB)
By-law 2010-187 amendment (pdf, 19 kB)
By-law 2012-066 amendment (pdf, 22 kB)

The by-law’s purpose is to protect the health of Oakville residents from the negative effects of fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less (fine PM) by collecting emissions information from Oakville facilities and implementing regulatory controls for major emitters.

An initial draft of the by-law was proposed at a special meeting of Council on December 22, 2009, and released for public review and comment. Council adopted the by-law on February 1, 2010. Council received an update report on implementation of the by-law and adopted a third amendment on July 9, 2012 to provide an additional option for existing major emitters.

By-law fact sheet - general focus (December 21, 2010, pdf, 154 kB) 
By-law fact sheet - major emission reduction strategy (July 10, 2012, pdf 40 kB) 
By-law fact sheet - approval process (July 10, 2012, pdf, 57 kB)

Environmental Bill of Rights submission

The town filed an application with the Ontario government in December 2009 and updated it in April 2010 under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) asking the government to institute a new regulation under the Environmental Protection Act — or a new air pollution act if need be — that effectively regulates the emissions of airborne fine PM to protect communities from adverse health effects.

The requested regulation would establish a limit on the level of concentration of fine PM in an affected airshed, based on known health risks. In November, 2010, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) agreed to undertake a review of how it manages direct emissions of PM. In May 2012, the MOE concluded that there is no need to take further action to revise Ontario's approach to the management of fine PM.

For more information, please email

Health protection air quality by-law implementation

Town Council approved the health protection air quality by-law on February 1, 2010 with an implementation schedule that was amended on December 20, 2010. The revised implementation schedule for the reporting of facility emissions and by-law approval process is:

  • Facilities holding an Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) Certificate of Approval for air emissions: Reporting of emissions (By-law Section 4) – May 1, 2011
  • Facilities not holding a MOE Certificate of Approval for air emissions: Reporting of emissions (By-law Section 4) – Deferred until further notice
  • Proposed facilities that may be major emitters: Proposed major emitters approval process (By-law Section 5) – February 1, 2010
  • Facilities that are current major emitters: Major emitters approval process or Major Emission Reduction Strategy (By-law Section 6) – September 1, 2012

Implementation documents

The following are forms requiring completion for by-law compliance and guidance documents to help facilities understand by-law requirements:

Facility emission information

As part of the town's commitment to improve air quality, one of the key elements in the Health Protection Air Quality By-law 2010-035 (HPAQB) is to provide public access to health-risk air pollutant emission data for Oakville.

Under the HPAQB, facilities in Oakville that emit above the negligible quantity of any health-risk air pollutant are required to submit an emission report to the town.

Emission reports include:

  • Company and facility names
  • Locations of facilities
  • Daily and yearly emissions in both average and worst-case scenarios
  • Green features, best environmental practices and technologies, and/or sustainability plans demonstrating commitment to the environment by limiting and reducing emissions

Five priority health-risk air pollutants and potential emission sources

The town is implementing green initiatives and best practices to reduce health-risk air pollutant emissions from the town's facilities and operations. In addition to industrial processes, other local sources of health-risk air pollutants are from vehicle emissions and operating buildings. Everyone can take action to improve our air quality by using their vehicles less, using active and public transportation, and practicing energy conversation to use less energy for appliances and to heat and cool homes. The following are five priority health-risk air pollutants:

  1. Fine Particulate Matter, PM2.5
    Negligible quantity requiring submission:
     1 kg/year
    Potential emission sources: Combustion from stationary sources and vehicular sources, unpaved roads, processes generating dusts, and chemical formation from precursors
  2. Oxides of Nitrogen, expressed in NO2
    Negligible quantity requiring submission:
     10 kg/year
    Potential emission sources: Combustion from transportation sector, utilities and other industrial processes
  3. Sulphur Dioxides, SO2
    Negligible quantity requiring submission:
     10 kg/year
    Potential emission sources: Combustion from transportation sector and utilities, and industrial processes such as petroleum refining, cement and concrete manufacturing
  4. Ammonia, NH3
    Negligible quantity requiring submission: 10 kg/year
    Potential emission sources: Nitrogen or oxides of nitrogen reduction processes for wastewater treatment plant or power plant, other industrial processes, and agricultural activities
  5. Volatile Organic Compounds, VOC
    Negligible quantity requiring submission:
    10 kg/year
    Potential emission sources: Combustion from stationary sources and vehicular sources, fuel-refilling, general solvent use, industrial processes such as paint/coating application, petroleum refining, plastics manufacturing, food processing, agricultural activities and wood processing and burning

For more information email