By Kimberly Mazza
CHEYENNE – The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Air Quality Division recently hosted two open houses at their mobile monitoring stations in Laramie County.
The public was invited to attend to learn what types of pollutants the monitors track and to see firsthand how these units operate.
The station located in eastern Laramie County monitors the following pollutants: ozone, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, continuous particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) total hydrocarbons (methane and non-methane) and meteorology.
“These stations provide valuable information for our communities. “Monitoring objectives are to locate sites in broadly represented locations to help characterize patterns of air pollution. For example, general background, and regional transport,” stated Mark Gagen, the Air Quality Monitoring Program Manager for the AQD at the DEQ. “Regional-scale monitoring is sited so that the data collected represents ambient concentrations over the monitored area. We are also able to monitor potential impacts that might be seen from Northern Colorado. With the permanent Cheyenne NCore station in eastern Cheyenne and this mobile station in eastern Laramie County, our reach is substantial for this part of the county.”
Along with the ability to tour the station, a map of eastern Laramie County that included population numbers, various facilities, and the prevailing wind direction that plays into the station’s monitor was available for viewing. “This map provided a visual of how the station site was selected and how the station is strategically located,” said Mark.
The Harriman Road Mobile Ambient Air Monitoring Station monitors particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) along with meteorological data.
“There is industrial activity in this area along with the traffic from I-80. The readings from this station will aid us in understanding potential impacts to those living in the area.”
Along with the open houses, the DEQ/AQD provides real-time air quality readings from the DEQ’s 25 stations located throughout the state. The public can find this information as well as health information as it relates to their areas air quality by going to the DEQ’s resource http://www.wyvisnet.com/.
Additionally, historical and validated data can be found at: http://openair.wyo.gov
“These are helpful resources available to the public,” added Mark. We encourage people to take advantage of these tools.”