Ambient Air Quality Monitoring

This page last reviewed July 01, 2015


The California Air Resources Board's air quality monitoring program collects accurate real-time measurements of ambient level pollutants at over 40 sites located throughout the state. The data generated are used to define the nature and severity of pollution in California; determine which areas of California are in attainment or non-attainment; identify pollution trends in the state; support agricultural burn forecasting; and develop air models and emission inventories.

The program encompasses operation of the sampling and monitoring network, laboratory analysis of air samples, and quality assurance activities to ensure the quality of the data collected and disseminated by the ARB and the local Air Quality Management and Air Pollution Control Districts. In addition, technical assistance is provided to local air quality districts and others active in air pollution programs.

For more detailed information on the specific air quality monitoring programs, refer to the pages listed below.

Air Monitoring Network Information about the ambient air monitoring network operated by the Air Resources Board.
Community Health Information about the ambient air monitoring that supports measuring children's exposure to air pollution in our communities.
Gaseous Criteria Pollutants Information about monitoring activities for ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide.
Particulate Matter Pollutants Summary of monitoring activities for PM10, PM2.5, and total suspended particulates.
Toxic Air Contaminants Information about monitoring activities for halocarbon and aromatic hydrocarbons, carbonyls, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and toxic metals.
Dioxins Information about the California Ambient Dioxin Air Monitoring Program (CADAMP) and monitoring activities for dioxins, furans, and PCBs.
Hydrocarbon Pollutants Information about monitoring activities for hydrocarbons, including the Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS).
Meteorology Information about meteorological monitoring activities conducted at air monitoring sites.
Quality Assurance

Information about quality assurance activities conducted by the Air Resources Board (ARB). The ARB supports and conducts appropriate quality assurance activities to ensure that data collected is in compliance with procedures and regulations set forth by the U.S. EPA and can be considered good quality data and data-for-record.

Standards Laboratory Information about calibrations, certifications and verifications of ozone and flow rate primary and transfer standards, and certifications of compressed gas cylinders.
Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures Listing of SOP summaries used by the ARB's laboratories for analysis of air samples.
Air Monitoring Web Manual Listing of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Maintenance Check Sheets, Calibration Sheets, Specifications, and Acceptance Test Procedures (ATP) used by the ARB's Air Quality Surveillance Branch.

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For further information contact:
Michael Benjamin, Chief
Monitoring and Laboratory Division