Air Quality Monitoring

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six criteria pollutants. Ozone and particulate matter are two of these pollutants.  EPA works with partners at state, local, and tribal air quality agencies to meet these standards.  In Michigan they primarily work through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Under the CAA, as amended in 1990, each state must develop a plan describing how it will attain and maintain the NAAQS.  In other words, how it plans to clean up polluted areas and keep them clean.  This plan is called the State Implementation Plan (SIP) and is required under Section 110 of the CAA (40 CFR Part 51, Subparts F & G).  In general, the SIP is a collection of programs, including:

  • a monitoring program, which is a collection of monitoring devices which provide actual measurements of the concentrations in the air, to identify whether an area is meeting the air quality standards
  • air quality calculations and computer modeling, which are used to predict future trends and the effects of emission reduction strategies
  • emissions inventories, which describe the sources and categories of emissions to the air for a given pollutant, and how much is emitted by each source or source category

 

Ozone Monitoring

 The Grand Rapids, MI, air quality monitoring station

The Grand Rapids, MI, air quality monitoring station

A network of five air quality monitoring stations, located in Evans, Grand Rapids*, Holland, Jenison, and Muskegon, continually monitor ozone levels in West Michigan from April 1st through September 30th and post the data on the web. (*The Grand Rapids station monitors ozone year-round and posts the data on the web.) The MDEQ and the EPA average the data from these monitors over eight hours and compare it to the NAAQS. At each monitoring station, the fourth highest eight-hour value averaged over three years is not to exceed 70 parts per billion (ppb). If over three years, the average of the fourth highest ozone value is over 70 ppb, the NAAQS is violated.

For a map of these monitoring stations, click here.

Particulate Matter Monitoring

 The Holland, MI, air quality monitoring station

The Holland, MI, air quality monitoring station

A network of five air quality monitoring stations, located in Grand Rapids (2), Holland, and Jenison monitor West Michigan particulate matter levels year-round. The MDEQ and EPA use an annual standard and a daily standard to determine compliance with the particulate matter less than 2.5 um in diameter (PM2.5) NAAQS particulate matter violations. The EPA adopted a new annual standard of 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) in December, 2012. To attain this standard, the three-year average must not exceed 12.0 µg/m³. The previous standard of 15 µg/m³ is also still in effect. To attain the daily standard, the three-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour cencentrations at each monitor must not exceed 35 µg/m³.

For a map of these monitoring stations, click here.

Monitoring and Clean Air Action Days

To help protect the health of the community, a Clean Air Action Day will be called on days when widespread ozone concentrations are forecast to exceed 70 ppb over an eight-hour period or particulate matter levels are forecast to exceed 35 µg/m³ over a 24-hour period throughout the area.

 Monitoring data being collected at the Grand Rapids air quality monitoring station

Monitoring data being collected at the Grand Rapids air quality monitoring station

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool used to communicate air quality to the public that is separate from the ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS. The AQI, normalized by pollutant concentration, ranges from good (green), moderate (yellow), unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange), to unhealthy (red).

For current air quality information, you can view ozone monitors or particulate matter monitors (MDEQ web site) to see real time data from monitoring stations around the state. 

Clean Air Action Day Notifications in West Michigan

2018: May 25, May 27, May 28, June 16, June 17, June 29, June 30, July 1, July 9, July 13,
August 4, August 5

2017: June 10, June 11, June 12      

2016: May 23, June 10, June 11, June 19, June 25, July 21, July 23, August 4, August 10,
August 11       
2015: July 18, August 16, August 17, September 6     

2014: July 20, July 21, July 22      

2013: August 20, August 21       

2012: May 24, May 27, June 9, June 10, June 15, June 16, June 19, June 20, June 28, June 29, July 2, July 3, July 4, July 5, July 6, July 7, July 13, July 15, July 16, July 17, August 4, August 24, August 25, August 30, August 31  

2011: June 7, June 8, July 2, July 17, July 20, July 21, September 1, September 2 

2010: July 4, August 13, August 29, August 30, August 31    

2009: June 24, August 15, August 16     

Previous Ozone Action Day Notifications in West Michigan

2008: July 11, July 17, July 18, August 21, September 2

2007: June 16, June 18, August 1, August 2, August 28, September 5  

2006: June 17, July 16, July 17, July 31, August 1, August 2

2005: June 8, June 9, June 10, June 24, June 27, July 11, July 12, August 2, August 3, August 8, August 9

2004: June 8

2003: June 22, June 23, June 24, June 25, July 3, August 15, August 20, August 21

2002: June 9, June 10, June 20, June 23, June 24, June 25, June 30, July 1, July 15, July 16, July 17, July 31, August 1, September 8, September 9

2001: June 13, June 14, June 26, June 27, June 28, June 29, June 30, July 31, August 1, August 7, August 8, August 9

2000: June 9, June 10, Aug. 31, Sept. 1

1999: May 29, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 9, June 10, June 22, June 25, June 26, June 27, July 3, July 4, July 5, July 15, July 16, July 23, July 30, September 3, September 4, September 5

1998: May 28, June 20, June 25, June 26, June 27, July 13, July 14, July 15, July 20, July 21, September 5

1997: June 24, June 27, June 28, June 29, June 30, July 1, July 12, July 13, July 14, July 17, July 26

1996: June 28, June 29, August 5, August 6, August 7, September 6

1995: June 6, June 7, June 15, June 16, June 17, June 18, June 19, June 20, June 21, July 12, July 13, July 14, July 15, July 30, July 31, August 12