Air quality

We are committed to improving air quality or reducing air emissions near all our operations.
Aerial view of East Tank Farm development, and limited partnership called Thebatcha.

We monitor and manage our emissions toward protecting good air quality for our workforce and local communities.

Recognizing the importance of local airsheds for both people and the environment, we work to minimize emissions and odours through operational excellence, project design and technological advances that can improve our performance.

A male worker checking a controller. He is wearing a blue hard hat, safety glasses, coveralls and gloves.
Environmental Advisor Patrick Dixon taking air quality readings at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake tank farm.

Compliance and monitoring

We participate in various provincial, state and regional emissions management framework programs. This includes programs to improve our air monitoring capability with the goal of reducing our air emissions over time.

All of our operations have controls and procedures in place to manage emissions. We also support air quality monitoring and reporting through organizations that monitor and report air quality, ensuring that the public and regulatory agencies have timely information about all our operating areas.

Our key focus areas for air emissions monitoring and reductions include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We adopt the best available technology and processes to reduce emissions, with a focus on high utilization rates and operational excellence, and seeking opportunities for continuous improvement.

Community engagement and industry collaboration

We regularly engage with communities, stakeholders, governments and other external agencies to discuss odour management strategies and best practices. We also test and pilot new technologies to improve our understanding of air emissions through collaborative industry efforts such as Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).

New initiatives and technologies

We have several initiatives at our refineries and operating sites to reduce releases of key air pollutants. These include low NOX boilers and heaters, sulphur recovery units and scrubbers to reduce SO2 emissions and leak detection and repair programs to manage and reduce fugitive emissions on site.

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo air quality

Air quality in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is monitored independently by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) and the Ambient Air Technical Committee (AATC). This multi-stakeholder association operates the most integrated and intensive focus on air and terrestrial monitoring in any one area in Canada, with 17 air monitoring stations and 23 passive monitoring stations.