Ecology, EPA, tribes, and local clean air agencies maintain a network of air monitoring stations to measure air pollution in the state. Using continuous monitoring data, we can let you know when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels. Based on this information, people can adjust their daily activities to minimize unhealthy effects.
Monitoring Washington’s air quality
We use air monitoring data to:
- Provide near real-time air quality information to protect health.
- Determine if air quality meets health-based federal standards.
- Forecast air quality.
- Decide if burning will be allowed.
- Help with air permitting activities.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of air pollution control programs.
- Evaluate the effects of air pollution on public health.
- Determine air quality trends.
- Identify and develop responsible, cost-effective pollution control strategies.
- Evaluate air quality models.
The network measures EPA’s list of the most serious health-related air pollutants:
The network also measures atmospheric data (wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure).
We use the Washington Air Quality Advisory, or WAQA, as a tool to advise people about air quality levels and when they are healthy or unhealthy. The pollutants included in WAQA are the same as those listed above, except lead.