AirNOW: Multi-agency Effort Maps Air Quality Nationally
Adapted from AirNOW website
The AIRNow Web site provides the public with easy access to national air quality information. The website offers daily AQI forecasts as well as real-time AQI conditions for over 300 cities across the U.S., and provides links to more detailed state and local air quality websites. The site was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service, tribal, state, and local agencies.
Nationwide and regional real-time ozone air quality maps, updated every hour, covering 46 U.S. states and parts of Canada.
The Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health.
About the Data
The air quality data used in these maps and to generate forecasts are collected using either federal reference or equivalent monitoring techniques or techniques approved by the state, local or tribal monitoring agencies. Since the information needed to make maps must be as "real-time" as possible, the data are displayed as soon as practical after the end of each hour.
Although some preliminary data quality assessments are performed, the data as such are not fully verified and validated through the quality assurance procedures monitoring organizations use to officially submit and certify data on the EPA AQS (Air Quality System). Therefore, data are used on the AIRNow website only for the purpose of reporting the AQI. Information on the AIRNow website is not used to formulate or support regulation, guidance or any other agency decision or position.