Particulates, Total Emissions
The chart below shows three-year average concentrations across the state for particulates that are smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5). As can be seen, Nebraska’s air quality is consistently below existing federal health standards for particulates. However, there are some areas, such as in the vicinity of Weeping Water and in the metropolitan areas of Omaha and Lincoln, that have relatively higher readings compared to other areas of the state.
The pie chart below shows the breakdown per region of air pollutant emissions. This is followed by a pie chart that provides a breakdown of the types of pollutants emitted across the state. Altogether, it is estimated that 1.9 million tons of regulated pollutants are emitted annually in Nebraska. These emissions came from both stationary and mobile sources.
Air emissions in Nebraska are relatively low, in comparison to many other states. The extent of overall air emissions is affected by population density, industry and vehicle traffic. The first pie chart demonstrates this, with the largest portions of emissions coming from the most populous regions. Even so, air quality and public health in areas that are low in population can be affected by emissions that are occurring from outside of the region’s borders (see related story, “Monitors Help Track Broader Air Trends” ).
Total Air Emissions: A Breakdown by Amounts of Pollutants
The pie chart below provides a breakdown of the amounts of pollutants that are emitted into Nebraska’s air annually. These figures are based on information submitted by regulated facilities in the state, and from EPA estimates of other emission sources, such as vehicles and small businesses. The figures below represent the number of tons emitted. This is followed by a table that shows the top two sources that contribute to each type of major pollutant in Nebraska’s air. At the bottom of the page is a chart that shows the percentage of total emissions by region.What are these emissions, and where do they come from?
Carbon Monoxide – (42% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of carbon monoxide: road vehicles – 65%; non-road vehicles – 16%
Particulates (25% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of particulates: Unpaved roads (52%); Agriculture production (34%)
Nitrous oxides – (12% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of nitrous oxide: Electric generation (22%); Railroad engines (22%)
Ammonia – (9% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of ammonia: Livestock production (58%); crop production (36%)
Sulfur Dioxide – (6% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of particulates: electric generation (63%); industrial boilers (23%)
Volatile Organic Compounds– (5% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of particulates: road vehicles (32%); solvent use (16%)
Hazardous Air Pollutants – (1% of Nebraska’s emissions)
Top two sources of particulates: road vehicles (33%) electric generation (26%)
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
1200 "N" Street, Suite 400
P.O. Box 98922
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509