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Annual regional air quality index statistics for 2008

In 2008, two new weather regions, La Tuque and Mont-Laurier, were added to the list of regions for which an AQI was calculated. This therefore brought the number of regions to 24, since the Montréal Island is divided into 4 subregions.

The percentage of days for which the AQI was deemed “good” varied between 80.1% on the Montréal Island (approximately 293 days out of 366) and 100% in 7 regions (Abitibi, Témiscamingue, Haute-Gatineau, Lac-Saint-Jean, Saguenay, Rivière-du-Loup and Témiscouata).

Air quality was deemed “poor*” the most often in Montréal (19.9% of the time, or 73 days out of 366, which was twice as high as the previous year). In terms of hours, this was 5.3% (465 hours out of 8782 valid hours).

Compared to the previous year, there was a decline in the percentage of days where the air quality was “poor*” for most regions (between 0.5% and 2.2%), except on the Montréal Island where the percentage rose.

In Montréal, there was a larger percentage of days and hours when air quality was “poor*” because fine particles is now measured using a new generation of devices. These results therefore cannot be interpreted as a deterioration of air quality compared to the previous year.

The further away a region is from Montréal, the better the air quality, regardless of direction.

* Occurs where the concentration of fine particles is above at least 35 µg/m3 (over a three-hour period) or the hourly ozone concentration is above at least 82 ppb at at least one station in the region.

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