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Air Quality Tools

 

The Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index, or AQI, is a daily public report that the Department of Environmental Quality is required (by EPA) to make in each metropolitan area with a population of more than 350,000. The AQI is based upon the previous day's monitored concentrations of the criteria pollutants (i.e. particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide). The AQI report can also be used to predict the levels of the criteria pollutants. This is important when the pollutants are expected to reach unhealthy levels because it gives sensitive people time to take precautions. Cautionary statements for the AQI are pollutant specific and can be found on the AQI Explanation Chart.


In Oklahoma, the AQI is reported for the Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Lawton metropolitan areas. You can get the AQI by choosing a city from the drop-down box or, in Oklahoma City, by calling 405-702-4234.

Archived AQI data for 2012 and 2013 is now available.

Ozone Watches
Each day from April to November, we check the weather forecast, current ozone levels and available ozone models to try to forecast ozone concentrations across the state. Ozone watches are called on days when tomorrow's ozone levels could reach levels unhealthy for sensitive groups or worse on the Air Quality Index. When an Ozone Watch is issued, a banner will be shown on the DEQ Home Page. Information will be provided there to indicate what parts of the state are forecasted to be affected. The local councils of government will be notified to alert them of any ozone watch issued for their area.

Air Quality Health Advisories
An Air Quality Health Advisory is a graphic email notification which tells the subscriber that air pollution levels are currently unhealthy for sensitive groups or worse. Health Advisories may be issued for any monitored pollutant that reaches unhealthy levels, but usually ozone and inhalable particulate matter are the pollutants of concern. The public is encouraged to sign-up for this service.

Who can use this information?
Anyone interested in air pollution can use this information. Sensitive individuals may find it very helpful in planning their outdoor and/or strenuous activities. Sensitive individuals may include asthmatics, people with heart or respiratory disease, the elderly, and children. People who work or play a lot outdoors can use it as well. Groups that could benefit from using the AQI include the elderly, nursing homes, schools, day cares, as well as athletes and people who work outside.

The AQI report is the mechanism for calling Air Pollutant Watches (Ozone, PM-2.5 and CO). Everyone is encouraged to do their part to reduce pollution, but especially on Watch days. Follow this link for a list of 10 simple steps to improve air quality.

Page last updated: April 14, 2014
 

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