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Monitoring Air Quality & Alerting the Public  

The Air Quality Division maintains a network of air quality monitoring stations across Oklahoma.  These stations monitor the concentrations in the air of particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, which together are known as the criteria pollutants.
 
When real-time concentrations exceed certain National Air Quality Standards, there are various free ways (listed below) the public can be quickly notified by DEQ.  With this air quality information, Oklahomans can make informed decisions to reduce or avoid their exposure to air pollution.

The Air Quality Index (AQI)
This is a simple color-coded way of indicating which levels of criteria pollutants are unhealthy for some or all groups of people.  Cautionary statements for the AQI are pollutant specific and can be found on the AQI Explanation Chart.
 
AQD makes a daily public AQI report for Lawton, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  It is based upon the previous day's monitored concentrations of the criteria pollutants, and it includes forecasts of the AQI for that day and the next day.  This is important because it gives sensitive people time to take precautions when pollutant concentrations are expected to reach unhealthy levels.

Air Quality Health Advisories
Oklahomans statewide can now sign-up to receive real-time health advisories for both elevated ozone and particulate levels by email.  These alerts are issued for particular counties where real-time data from our automatic monitors indicates a current air quality problem.

Air Quality Action Days
AQD Monitoring staff also predict seasonal Clean Air Alerts on the day before so that local governments and individuals can take action to help clean the air.  These days are publicized through newspapers, television and radio, and on the DEQ website.

EnviroFlash
The free EnviroFlash alert system is run by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  It provides important air quality information such as AQI forecasts and Air Quality Action Day alerts via e-mail or pager notification.  The notifications include the same local forecast information that is provided to the news media.

Page last updated: August 26, 2015
 

MONITORING AIR QUALITY & ALERTING THE PUBLIC

 

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