Since 1960, the Sac Metro Air District has been monitoring outdoor air pollution in Sacramento County and now operates eight air quality monitoring stations across the county. An additional station is operated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The monitoring stations provide data that are essential to protecting public health, determining compliance with federal and state air quality standards and supporting air quality research.
The Sac Metro Air District conducted a Toxics from Wood
Smoke Study in Sacramento County communities from December 2016 – January 2017.
The study was made possible with funding from a Community Scale Air Toxics
Ambient Monitoring grant award provided by U.S. EPA.
The study focused on four research questions:
What are the concentrations of Hazardous Air
Pollutants (HAPs) in various communities in Sacramento?
To what degree does wood smoke contribute to
toxics in these communities?
Are disadvantaged communities disproportionately
impacted by toxics from wood smoke?
Are there changes that can be made to the Sac
Metro Air District’s air quality outreach program to reduce toxics from wood
Results and conclusions from this study are presented in a
The Sac Metro Air District air monitoring stations are part of a nationwide network called State/Local Air Monitoring Stations (SLAMS). They measure pollutants such as ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead (Pb) and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). These stations also measure meteorological parameters such as wind direction, wind speed, relative humidity, temperature, rainfall and solar radiation.
We also operate a radar wind profiler in conjunction with a radio acoustic sounding system. These sophisticated instruments measure wind direction, wind speed and air temperature up to a few miles above ground level.
Six of the monitoring stations provide real-time pollutant concentrations. Hourly updates are accessible by the public on
Sparetheair.com, CARB's Air Quality and Meteorological Information System (AQMIS) and the Sacramento Region Air Quality app (downloadable from
Google Play Store, Apple App Store and
Windows Store). Upper air meteorological conditions and wind profiles measured at the Bruceville station on are available on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
Physical Science Division's webpage under "Sacramento (sac)."
Federal air monitoring requirements requires state and local air agencies to submit annual network plans to the U.S. EPA on July 1 of each year. These plans contain technical details on Sacramento's air monitoring network and provide information on planned network modifications. Annual network plans are typically posted and available for public comment and review for at least 30 days prior to submittal to U.S. EPA. The most current EPA air monitoring plan can be found here: 2020 Annual Network Plan.
In addition to annual network plans, federal regulations require that we conduct a five-year network assessment to:
evaluate whether the network still meets monitoring objectives, including its effectiveness in areas with high populations of sensitive people;
evaluate whether existing sites are still needed;
evaluate the effect of proposed monitoring station closures on users of monitoring data, such as nearby states, tribes, and health researchers; and
develop recommendations for network reconfigurations and improvements, including whether new technologies are appropriate for incorporation into the air monitoring network.
The most current network assessment can be found here: 2015 Air Monitoring Network Assessment
For more information on outdoor air quality monitoring in Sacramento County, please contact Ms. Janice Lam Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-874-4835.