ORTECH has been Monitoring Air Quality for over 50 years 

ORTECH has the experience, expertise and resources to design, implement and operate cost effective ambient air quality monitoring programs from small fence line studies to large air shed monitoring networks. Parameters monitored range from simple air quality meteorological indicators to complex volatile organics and fine particulates. Every program is tailored to satisfy a wide variety of industrial and compliance requirements.

ORTECH, on behalf of the Sarnia Lambton Environmental Association (SLEA), has designed, operated and maintained a comprehensive ambient air monitoring network in Sarnia-Lambton since the 1950’s to monitor emissions from the regions vast petrochemical operations.

Regional Air Shed Monitoring
Since the 1950’s, ORTECH has conducted an ongoing comprehensive ambient air quality monitoring network in the vicinity of a complex of petrochemical facilities for an industrial association. Continuous measurements are routinely conducted for various air pollutants (SO2, NOx, O3, VOCs, TRS, PM2.5), meteorological parameters (wind speed & direction, temperature, relative humidity, rainfall and solar radiation) and other airborne constituents, using analyzers and methods that are approved by regulatory agencies.

Other Services include:

  • Industrial Fence Line Air Quality Monitoring

  • Monitoring Program Design and Operation

  • Instrument Procurement, Installation and Service

  • Data Collection, Transfer and Evaluation

  • Ambient and Fugitive Air Monitoring

  • Emergency Response

  • Mobile Air Quality Monitoring


ORTECH has been conducting comprehensive environmental studies since the 1950s. with active involvement in air quality monitoring and assessments. 

Examples of some other ambient air monitoring studies and surveys that have been designed and conducted by ORTECH are:

  • A study for the City of Toronto to measure and assess street-level PM10/PM2.5 exposure of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians in the downtown and other core areas to re-suspended road dust and vehicle exhaust contributions. Replicated real-time mobile measurements characterized the coarse and fine particle levels for a variety of urban exposure conditions/scenarios to determine the severity of the problem. The results have been used in part to support the procurement of advanced street sweepers for the City.

  • Technical assistance on the first two Alternate Standard applications to the Ontario MOE, both of which included a Combined Ambient Monitoring and Modelling ("CAMM") study to apportion and calibrate source contributions.

  • Design, implementation and operation of a number of CAMM monitoring programs for various industrial clients to measure fugitive emissions of benzene and 1,3-butadiene.

  • The procurement and commissioning of a fully instrumented ambient monitoring station and conduct of a comprehensive, long-term baseline monitoring program at the selected OWMC site in which continuous hourly monitoring data of the common gases and meteorological parameters were processed, logged and transmitted from the site to ORTECH’s Mississauga office. Regular measurements for a variety of other hazardous substances were also done at the site (e.g., PM10, trace elements, VOC, PAH, PCDD/PCDF, OC pesticides) to characterize background levels for the proposed waste treatment location.

  • Participation in Environment Canada’s NAPS ambient air monitoring program, involving regular operation of specific cumulative sampling devices (i.e., dichotomous and particle speciation units, VOC, carbonyl and PAH samplers), within the Toronto station network.

  • Design, development, commissioning and initiation of a continuous ambient air monitoring program of the common gases for the UAE Municipality of Dubai.

  • A fugitive dust source and ambient monitoring study for a base metal mining company, by using dichotomous sampling and elemental particulate components, to characterize the primary on-site fugitive dust source contributions and derive emission factors.

  • Conduct of long-term and short-term industrial fence line measurement surveys to determine facility contributions to surrounding air quality for various particulate/gaseous parameters and for a variety of industries (e.g., cement manufacturing facilities, industrial waste treatment sites, automotive manufacturing, secondary lead production, petroleum refineries, base metal mining operations, foundries, landfill areas, quarries, etc.).

  • Development of novel instrumental methods for ambient air quality monitoring. For example, a diffusion denuder-based gas/particle sampler has been designed, developed and tested for determining vapour/particle distributions of semi-volatile organic substances (pesticides, PCBs, PAHs). Measurements were done for speciated components of coarse and fine particulate matter at various rural sites in the Great Lakes region.

  • A study for an industrial client to characterize both indoor and outdoor exposure levels of PM10 associated with the exhaust alignment of a large number of heavy duty diesel trucks.

  • Participation in a major highway emission characterization and impact study for the Ontario Ministry of Transport in which real-time daily monitoring was conducted in various seasons on both sides of a major Toronto highway and nearby residential areas for an extensive array of parameters (e.g., continuous NOX, CO, THC, PM10 speciated VOC, carbonyls, elements in particulate matter, PAH, etc.) and meteorological conditions. ORTECH’s mobile monitoring unit was used to conduct measurements within specific residential/industrial areas. Data were used to define community exposure impacts and model validation.

  • The conduct of continuous PM10 and SO2 measurements with ORTECH’s fully instrumented mobile monitoring unit at various urban locations to assess any potential air quality impacts of specific localized sources (e.g., Skyway Bridge rehabilitation, major petroleum refinery contributions).

  • A study of plume washout phenomena for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, in which a novel approach was used to experimentally define washout and deposition processes of acidic and true metal constituents in the vicinity of a coal-fired generating station and a nickel smelter. Meteorological forecasts in the study were used as the basis for event sampling mobile correlation spectrometers (i.e., remote sensors) were used to track the overhead plume position during rainfall.

  • A monitoring study to determine the impact of various residential wood combustion sources in a rural area in Central Ontario using dichotomous particle size measurements and CMB analysis/modeling techniques.

  • A one-year ambient air particulate monitoring program for airborne asbestos in conjunction with a large site rehabilitation on an industrial property in order to ensure that cleanup activities were conducted in an environmentally accepted manner.

  • The conduct of a long-term community-based PCB monitoring survey in Mississauga in conjunction with the burning of waste materials containing PCBs, in a cement kiln.

  • Participation in a major underground mine assessment to evaluate control strategies for reducing miner exposure to diesel particulate matter whereby ORTECH’s prototype denuder sampling system was used to characterize vapour/particle PAH distributions in the test mine section.

  • A comprehensive study for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to determine atmospheric mercury deposition in the vapour and particle forms in which extensive real time team members measurements were conducted in selected rural and urban locations in Ontario to determine speciated mercury concentrations in air and precipitation.

  • A preliminary evaluation of service station attendant exposure to VOCs for the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. In the evaluation, comparative measurements were conducted with available techniques at a high volume suburban service station adjacent to a major Ontario highway, in order to deduce preliminary exposures to selected VOC as a result of vehicle refueling with differentiation from vehicle emissions.

  • A monitoring program for the Industrial Lead Zinc Research Association adjacent to an Ontario highway to determine potential lead emissions due to highway travel along an experimental lead-containing asphalt strip. Vehicle exhaust level was distinguished from re-entrained roadway particulate lead.

  • Comprehensive studies of urban particulate matter in the Hamilton area, with emphasis on the detailed characterization of ambient particulate matter and the identification of predominant sources. The contribution by re-entrained road dust in relation to industrial and other sources was a major focus of the studies.

  • Participation in a Hamilton street sweeping project by operating a continuous (TEOM) particulate monitor and meteorological measurements at one site, using ORTECH’s mobile monitoring unit, in which data were used by MOE to assess the effectiveness of various street cleaning procedures on urban particulate levels.



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