What We Do
This section includes field monitoring operations, laboratory and data processing units.
The Air Monitoring Section operates ambient air quality sampling sites throughout West Virginia. The sampling sites are located to assess air quality levels based on population exposure, and industry emissions to determine compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), background levels, and other special purposes. Nearly all air quality monitoring equipment is located at permanent sites, in buildings or shelters designed for monitoring purposes. The air pollutants and parameters monitored include:
- Inhalable Particulate Matter (PM-10, PM2.5)
- Ozone (O3)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- Speciated PM2.5
- Air Toxic Pollutants (metals, carbonyls, VOCs)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
The monitoring network is reviewed annually and revised as necessary to accommodate changing federal requirements. The data collected is used by the DAQ to implement programs to attain NAAQS for criteria pollutants. Air quality data collected by the air monitoring section is validated before being submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Subsystem (AQS) national database. After EPA also reviews the data, it is posted to the public site and is available for public use. Calenar-year data is certified each year by May 1st of the following year. Additionally, during ozone season (March 1 - October 31), data is submitted several times a day to EPA's AIRNOW Ozone Mapping Project where it is available on the Internet.
Air quality data collected at outdoor monitors across the United States, including in West Virginia, can be downloaded from https:/www.epa.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data
The laboratory analyzes PM2.5 filters from numerous sampling sites across the state to determine the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. The lab provides analysis for metals in particulate matter for the National Air Toxics Trends site located in Washington, DC. The lab also analyzes metals for the West Virginia toxics monitoring sites and other participating EPA Region 3 states and local agencies.