Air Quality


Enhancing North American Air Quality Management

Status: Completed
Operational Plan: 2009

The objective of this project is to provide a more complete North American picture of air quality and air emissions to support decision-making on air quality management. The 2010 project activities bring to completion some key tasks from the CEC 2009 Operational Plan associated with the update of the Mexican National Emissions Inventory, the publication of the North American Power Plants Emissions Report, and continue activities aimed at integrating North American ambient air monitoring network data and information under the AIRNow-International system, and provide the opportunity to assess the work to date and any future activity that may follow from the CEC’s new 2010–2015 Strategic Plan.


In 2001, under Resolution 01-05, the CEC Council agreed to work towards promoting comparability of air emissions inventory information in North America. Since then, the CEC has pursued two goals in this regard:

  1. Facilitating the development of comparable air emissions data for use in transborder air quality planning, and
  2. Enhancing the public availability of air emissions information in North America.

The CEC carried out extensive work in 2003–2004 promoting the development of North American air emissions inventories, supporting Mexico’s first national air emissions inventory in a manner that directly aids transborder air quality planning, as well as meeting Mexico’s planning needs. The first Mexican National Emissions Inventory (MNEI) was completed in October 2006, and included emissions of criteria air pollutants for the year 1999.

In 2007, the Parties charged the North American Air Working Group (NAAWG) to work with the Secretariat to review the current air quality work and to formulate a comprehensive vision for enhancing North American Air Quality Management for 2010–2015. The Council directed the NAAWG to develop an implementation strategy for cooperation on air quality (Air Strategy) as outlined in the 2010–2015 North American Vision, which had five fundamental objectives:

  1. Developing capacity for self-sustaining inventories and ambient monitoring;
  2. Achieving comparability and synchronicity of inventories and monitoring capabilities;
  3. Developing meaningful and comparable data and analyses;
  4. Mapping air quality trends, impacts and air quality strategies; and  2009 Operational Plan – Project Description Enhancing North America Air Quality Management Page 2 of 11
  5. Facilitating coordination and effectiveness of air quality policies, strategies and voluntary programs.

Consequently, in 2008, the CEC Secretariat completed a comprehensive assessment of North American air emissions inventories and air quality monitoring networks. This assessment provided a basis for the development of the Air Strategy document. The North American Air Quality Management Strategy for 2010–2015 was submitted to Council in 2009. In addition, with CEC support, portions of the on-road mobile, point, and biogenic source components of the Mexican National Emissions Inventory have been updated for the data year 2005, resulting in significant progress
toward the comparability and synchronicity of North American emissions inventories.

For more information about this project or to partner with us, contact:

Orlando Cabrera-Rivera
Head of Unit for Environmental Quality
(514) 350-4323