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Air Quality Program

Tracking Air Pollution

Air monitoring

Ecology uses its 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

Washington’s Air Monitoring Network

Ecology, EPA, tribes, and local clean air agencies maintain a network of air monitoring stations around the state to measure air pollution. This tells us if the air we breathe is healthy at a given time or location. Using continuous monitoring data, Ecology informs the public when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels. Based on this information, people can adjust their daily activities to minimize unhealthy effects.

The network measures EPA’s list of the most serious health-related air pollutants:

  • Particle pollution, fine (PM2.5) and larger (PM10)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

The network also measures atmospheric data (wind speed/direction, temperature, relative humidity, air pressure).

Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA)

Ecology uses the Washington Air Quality Advisory, or WAQA, to advise people when air quality is healthy or unhealthy.

Air Quality Studies

Find out about some of the air quality studies Ecology is a part of.

Air Monitoring Procedures

(for air monitoring professionals)

Contact us


Air Monitoring Data

Washington Burn Bans
Washington Wildfire Smoke Information Blog


Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) table, (PDF)
El Índice de la Calidad de Aire de Washington (WAQA, por sus siglas en inglés), (PDF)