EPA Awards Over $300,000 Grant for Oregon Air Quality Monitoring

The agency that maintains Oregon's air quality monitors just received an investment from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Posted: Aug 7, 2018 5:45 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Those in Southern Oregon who frequently check air quality readings due to unhealthy levels of lingering smoke may be pleased to learn that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) which operates many of those monitoring stations just received a $314,375 investment from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the EPA, the grant is specifically intended to help support the DEQ's air monitoring programs, maintaining the state's monitoring network for hazardous air pollutants. The DEQ also works to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants and enforces air regulations in the state.

Pollutants Levels Drop Between 1970 and 2017 (from the EPA)

  • Sulfur dioxide (1-hour) - ↓ 88%
  • Lead (3-month average) - ↓ 80%
  • Carbon monoxide (8-hour) - ↓ 77%
  • Nitrogen dioxide (annual) - ↓  56%
  • Fine Particulate Matter (24-hour) - ↓ 40%
  • Coarse Particulate Matter (24-hour) - ↓ 34%
  • Ground-level ozone (8-hour) - ↓ 22%

“EPA and our regulatory partners at the state and local level have taken significant steps to dramatically reduce hazardous air pollutants and provide important health protections,” said EPA Regional Administrator Chris Hladick. “This grant helps further protect our communities and gives us a better understanding of the air pollution sources that may be affecting Oregon’s local air quality.”

There are currently 187 hazardous air pollutants, or "air toxics," regulated under the Clean Air Act that have been associated with a wide variety of adverse health effects, including cancer and neurological effects. These air toxics come from multiple sources—including major stationary, area, and mobile sources, resulting in community exposure to these pollutants.

The National Air Toxics Trends Station program was developed to fulfill the need for long-term hazardous air pollutants monitoring data of consistent quality. These sites are part of a 27-site national network of air pollution monitoring stations. The primary purpose of the network is tracking trends in ambient air pollutant levels to help measure progress toward reducing emissions and health risks.

DEQ is currently operating two of these National Air Toxics Trends monitoring sites in Oregon. One station is in La Grande (a rural site) and the other is in Portland (an urban site). EPA grant funding supports the activities of DEQ in the operation of these two sites. EPA has provided grant funding to support DEQ’s air quality monitoring program for more than a decade.

“EPA’s grant will support our ability to make science-based decisions, which is the cornerstone of our work and critical for advancing healthy communities and economic progress in Oregon,” said DEQ Director Richard Whitman. “Our progress is most effectively achieved with support from our federal partners and work with local communities to meet regulatory standards."

According to the EPA's most recent air trends report, the combined emissions of six major pollutants dropped by 73 percent between 1970 and 2017. The EPA also claims that average concentrations of many pollutants decreased significantly between 1990 and 2017 [see sidebar for more details].

The Clean Air Act was established to lower levels of six common pollutants—particles, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide—and toxic pollutants. The gathering of data on actual conditions is key to both state and local clean air programs.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 174501

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34800568
Washington23412229
Marion20116299
Clackamas15311204
Lane11554144
Jackson9904127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes708272
Linn414263
Yamhill408775
Klamath345259
Polk342952
Malheur342758
Josephine305462
Douglas304365
Benton273218
Jefferson206432
Coos196831
Columbia153826
Union141124
Lincoln129820
Wasco128928
Hood River112429
Morrow107915
Clatsop8918
Crook87819
Baker85614
Curry5939
Tillamook5803
Lake4137
Grant4064
Harney3056
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3716579

Reported Deaths: 60994
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122864123628
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2945774550
San Diego2748113674
Orange2688694891
Santa Clara1169712013
Kern1078251322
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1005001643
Alameda852561477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66927782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383830
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41107560
San Francisco35993517
Santa Barbara33863446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29679311
Imperial27962719
Kings22766245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16250239
Santa Cruz15554204
Marin13860226
Yolo13559199
Shasta11677217
Butte11549196
El Dorado9719109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598263
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362151
Humboldt358737
Lake340643
Glenn235525
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned330
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