Focus On Air Division
Ambient Air Monitoring Program

Ambient air monitoring is conducted at sites throughout Nebraska for the following pollutants: particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, total reduced sulfur, pollutant deposition, and regional haze. These monitoring activities are carried out or administered through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) with the Douglas County Health Department and the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department operating the air monitoring sites in the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas.

Ambient air quality data collected by the Nebraska Ambient Air Monitoring Network is available for use by governmental agencies as well as other public and private parties. Ongoing and potential uses for ambient air monitoring data include:
  • Confirmation of attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the Nebraska Air Quality standards set forth in NDEQ Title 129 – Nebraska Air Quality Regulations;
  • Local air quality modeling studies to evaluate local pollutant levels, potential emission source impacts, and monitoring needs;
  • Regional and larger scale studies of potential pollutant impacts and pollutant precursor formation;
  • Local, regional and national public health evaluations;
  • Air quality regulation and standard evaluations;
  • The calculation of Air Quality Index values for the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas; and
  • Submittal to the national AIRNow web site, which provides a summary of air quality throughout the Untied States.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is calculated daily from ambient levels of ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less. The AQI tells how clean or polluted the air is, and what health effects might exist. It is calculated daily for the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas, and is intended as a public health aid to the general public. More information on the AQI can be found at the US government web site (http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibroch.index)*.

Local AQI values for Omaha and Lincoln are published by the Douglas County Health Department and the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department at the following web addresses:
The national Air Now web site (http://airnow.gov/)* also displays real-time air quality data on ozone and particulate levels. It is available for use by the general public.

The following links contain additional ambient air monitoring information.
  • Nebraska Air Quality Reports - These annual reports provide site-specific air monitoring data summaries, and area-specific air quality discussions. Information on the pollutants monitored, the ambient air quality standards, pollutant sources and their impacts, and the ambient air monitoring network is included in these reports.
  • Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plans – These annual reports describe the Nebraska Ambient Air Monitoring Network, and include an analysis of current and future monitoring needs.
  • TRS Data Reports – These are monthly reports containing the daily maximum data for 1-minute and 30-minute average TRS monitor readings. If the above references do not provide the information you require, please contact one of the individuals below to inquire about the availability of additional information, including ambient air quality monitoring data.

The table below provides a summary of the Nebraska Ambient Air Monitoring Network. For additional information on ambient air monitoring results and/or the monitoring network, contact the Air Quality Division at either (402) 471-0007 or (402) 471-2142


Nebraska Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network
Location of Monitoring Sites
August 2011
Pollutant
Omaha Metro Area *
Lincoln Metro Area
Other Areas of Nebraska
Carbon Monoxide
1 site
1 site
Ozone
2 sites
1 site
PM10
5 sites a
-
2 sites: Cozad & Gothenburg
PM2.5
3 sites b
1 site
2 sites: Grand Island and Scottsbluff
Sulfur Dioxide
1 site
-
NCore
1 site
-
-
Lead


2 Sites: Auburn & Fremont
TRS
-
-
1 site: Dakota City
IMPROVE
-
-
2 sites: Halsey National Forest (Thomas County) Crescent Lake Wildlife Refuge (Garden Co.)
NTN/MDN
-
-
2 sites: Mead (Saunders County) NTN & MDN North Platte (Lincoln County) NTN
Abbreviations/Footnotes

* - Monitors at the NCore site were not counted as the pollutant – specific monitors. See NCore explanation below.

a - The PM10 sites in the Omaha Metro Area include 3 in Omaha and 2 in Weeping Water.

b - The PM2.5 sites in the Omaha Metro Area include 1 in Bellevue, 1 in Blair & 1 in Omaha.

PM10 - Particulate Matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 10 microns.

PM2.5 - Particulate Matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 2.5 microns.

NCore – A multi-pollutant site that monitors for CO, NOx/NOy, SO2, O3, PM10, PM2.5, Lead (starting in 2012) and meteorological parameters.

TRS – Total Reduced Sulfur (i.e., hydrogen sulfide and other gaseous reduced sulfur compounds)

IMPROVE - Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments. IMPROVE monitors measure particulates and particulate precursors for the purpose of evaluating regional haze.


NTN/MDN – National Trends Network / Mercury Deposition Network. NTN sites monitor for atmospheric deposition of acidity, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, chloride, and base ions (e.g., calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium). MDN sites monitor for atmospheric deposition of mercury.



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