Division for Air Quality’s job doesn’t stop for winter weather

You’ve probably seen them as you drive down the road: small buildings topped with strange-looking contraptions, surrounded by a fence.  These are Kentucky’s air monitoring stations, and they are essential tools for telling us how clean our air is.

The Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) operates a network of these monitoring stations across the state, each with its own set of air sampling equipment to detect air pollutants. But the stations don’t run themselves; it’s up to DAQ staff to visit the stations regularly, to collect and replace filters and air samples and to make sure the equipment is working properly.  And their job doesn’t stop for bad weather. Continue reading “Division for Air Quality’s job doesn’t stop for winter weather”

Air Monitoring 101

Air monitoring is the key to understanding how clean the air is in a particular area.  In order to do this, each state must operate a network of monitoring stations.

Since July 1967, the Division for Air Quality (DAQ) has operated an air quality monitoring network in Kentucky. The 2014 network includes 34 monitoring stations in 26 counties; this total includes monitors operated by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (LMAPCD) and the National Park Service (NPS) at Mammoth Cave.  In total, the network consists of 142 instruments including 16 meteorological stations. Continue reading “Air Monitoring 101”

Understanding Air Monitoring in Kentucky

How do you know if the air is clean?

The Clean Air Act was enacted by Congress in 1970 to ensure clean and healthy air for all Americans.  Through the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established federal standards for six criteria air pollutants that are considered
harmful to human health and the environment. Known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or “NAAQS” (pronounced “nacks”), the standards establish limits for each of the criteria pollutants. Continue reading “Understanding Air Monitoring in Kentucky”