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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Dust Monitoring Solutions for your construction projects

If you have a dust monitoring requirement, you have come to the right site.

Since the 1950's, ORTECH has been designing, implementing and operating dust monitoring systems on behalf of industrial and construction clients.  ORTECH has the experience, expertise and resources to design, implement and operate cost effective dust monitoring programs from small fence line studies to large and complex air shed monitoring networks.

Dust Monitoring Plan

It is prudent to develop a plan before initiating any dust monitoring activity. Monitoring plans are required by most jurisdictions and provide an opportunity for the proponent to ensure that any monitoring data collected is an accurate and reliable assessment of the air quality around the construction site.

As a construction estimator, here are the important elements of a monitoring plan that should be included in a quote to your vendors:

  • Objectives of the monitoring program: Why are you monitoring dust is a very important question for a vendor to address. It provides context and allows the vendor to suggest an alternative or creative solution. Always spend time defining this area.
  • Duration of the monitoring program: The length of time is important but also when the program starts. Winter or wet seasons can cause the monitoring solution to change. Provide enough information to be clear about the climate factors.
  • Expected or suspected sources of dust: This will help to identify the type of monitoring equipment or solution required. The classification of dust to be monitored (course, fine o ultrafine) will probably be government mandated, but if it is not clear, some investigations may be required.

Technical Experience:  ORTECH staff has extensive technical expertise and direct practical experience in design, commissioning and operation of fixed and mobile air monitoring stations to meet regulatory requirements as well as in support of public relation requirements.  These stations contain various types of state of science continuous and non-continuous air monitoring equipment chosen carefully to satisfy the customer’s regulatory requirements or other needs.  ORTECH’s specialty staff in Sarnia and Mississauga has maintained a vast network of air monitoring instruments measuring an array of parameters ranging from traditional pollutants (e.g., sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) to specific volatile organic compounds and respirable particulates (PM2.5) for many years.

Extensive Industry Experience: For over 60 years, ORTECH has operated an ongoing comprehensive ambient air monitoring network in the vicinity of the Sarnia petrochemical complex for the Sarnia Lambton Environmental Association (SLEA).  Continuous measurements are routinely conducted for the common air pollutants (SO2, NOX, O3, HC, TRS, PM2.5), meteorological parameters (WS, WD, T°, RH) and other airborne constituents (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes), using both commercially available and custom designed analyzers within this seven-station network.  A BAM-1020 monitor is utilized to measure real-time PM2.5 levels on an hourly basis.  The monitors are periodically updated to the newest technologies, are remotely calibrated and real-time data are telemetered to the participating SLEA industries.  A web-based data system has also been implemented for access to specific parameters.  A brief list of some clients familiar with ORTECH ambient monitoring services include:


  1. ORTECH has over 60 years of experience in high tech ambient air monitoring of industrial facilities and hazardous landfills. ORTECH also operates the on-going long-term 24/7 air shed monitoring program of the Sarnia Lambton Environmental Association in Sarnia, Ontario; one of the largest and most complex industrial air shed monitoring programs in North America.
  2. ORTECH has both the trained staff and technical knowledge to create a cost effective solution that meets all the requirements of the Dust Management and Requirements Plan.  ORTECH will not require the use of sub consultants to complete this work.
  3. ORTECH is truly independent.  In our experience, external stakeholders will appreciate and recognize the expertise and level of independence that ORTECH provides.    

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