A smoke stackThe quality of Ontario’s air can have significant impacts on the environment, public health, and Ontarians’ wellbeing. Each year, air pollution and smog contribute to illnesses, hospitalizations and thousands of premature deaths in Ontario. Likewise, noise, odour and light pollution can negatively affect wildlife, ecological processes and people’s quality of life.

In Ontario, air quality, noise, odour and light are primarily regulated under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)

Successes under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR)

Ontarians have used Applications for Investigation under the Environmental Bill of Rights several times to draw attention to, and prompt government action on, air pollution issues. For example:

Key Outstanding ECO Recommendations

It has been over six years since the ministry agreed to undertake a review of gaps in Ontario’s air pollution laws related to the cumulative impacts of pollution. The ECO has regularly asked the MOECC for updates on this application, but has not received a formal commitment as to when the decision will be delivered.

ECO Reporting on Air Quality and Pollution

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) has reported on a wide range of issues related to air quality, noise, odour and light pollution. In particular, we have reported on a number of matters relating to: Ontario’s industrial air pollution regulation (O. Reg. 419/05); other actions on air quality; odour, noise and light pollution; gaps in the regulatory framework regarding air pollution; and complaints from community members affected by air pollution. Below is a selection of the ECO’s report articles on air quality, noise, odour and light pollution. You can also use the search bar at the top of this page to search our website and reports for a particular word or phrase.

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