Focus On Air
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 Environment & Energy (NDEE) 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 NDEE 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 (https://www.airnow.gov/state/?name=nebraska)*.

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) 471-2186 or 402-471-4159


Table V-1. Nebraska Air Monitoring Network on March 31, 2020. (1)

DCHD
Omaha MSA (2)(3)
NDEE
Cass County (4)
LLCHD
Lincoln MSA
NDEE
Other Areas of NE
Total
SLAMS Sites (includes NCore)
9
1
3
3
16
IMPROVE (5)
0
0
0
1
1
NADP (6)
1
0
0
1
2
Total Monitoring Sites
10
1
3
5
19
Sites by Pollutant: SLAMS Sites including NCore (3)
Ozone
3
0
1
0
4
Carbon Monoxide
2
0
0
0
2
Nitrogen Oxides
1
0
0
0
1
Sulfur Dioxide
3
0
1
0
4
PM10
3
1
0
0
4
PM2.5
4
0
1
2
7
PM10-2.5
1
0
0
0
1
PM2.5 Speciation
1
0
0
0
1
Lead
0
0
0
1
1
Total Pollutant Sites
18 (3)
1
3
3
25
Footnotes:
(1) This table summarizes the number of operating sites as of 3/31/20 in the NE SLAMS network (including NCore) as well as IMPROVE and NADP sites in Nebraska.
(2) The Omaha MSA encompasses 5 NE counties: Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, & Washington. DCHD operates sites in Douglas, Sarpy & Washington counties. NDEE operates a site in Cass County.
(3) There were 3 multi-pollutant monitoring sites in the Omaha MSA in 2019: 1616 Whitmore – SO2 & Ozone (2 pollutants); 24th & O Sts (South Omaha) – Ozone and PM10 (2 pollutants); and NCore (42nd & Woolworth) – CO, NO-NOy, O3, SO2, and PM (8 pollutants). The number of monitoring sites by individual pollutant is thus greater than the number of monitoring locations within the Omaha MSA and for the state as a whole.
(4) Cass County has limestone mining and processing facilities, which are subject to specific air emission rules for the county set forth in Chapter 21 of Nebraska Administrative Code Title 129 – Nebraska Air Quality Regulations.
(5) IMPROVE – Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments. These are fine particulate and particulate speciation monitors intended to provide information for studying regional haze that may impact Class I National Park and wilderness Areas. IMPROVE sites are not part of the SLAMS network. EPA is responsible for the design of the IMPROVE network. Changes to the IMPROVE Network within Nebraska do not need to be included in Nebraska’s annual network plan, but the existence of the site is recognized within the network plans. The NDEE provides administrative support (with EPA funding) for one IMPROVE site at the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, NE.
(6) NADP - National Atmospheric Deposition Program sites are not part of the SLAMS network. They are not subject to 40 CFR Part 58 requirements and are not used for NAAQS attainment determinations. They are included in the Network Plan for informational purposes only.



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