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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Air Quality

Air Quality Index

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the Air Quality Index?

The Air Quality Index is based on data collected from DEQ's air monitors. These raw measurements are then converted into AQI values. An AQI value is calculated for each individual pollutant using standard formulas. The highest of the AQI values for the individual pollutants becomes the AQI value for that day. For example, if AQI values are 90 for ozone and 88 for carbon monoxide, the AQI reported would be 90 for the pollutant ozone on that day.

How does Oregon's air quality compare to the rest of the country? What part of the country has the lowest air pollution?

In 1980, only 30% of Oregonians lived in clean air areas that met national health standards for air pollution. Today, all areas in Oregon meet these standards. This success is the result of clean air strategies developed by DEQ with the participation of affected communities, businesses and citizens. At the same time, DEQ is addressing another group of pollutants, air toxics, that has emerged as a serious concern. Many areas of the state have air toxics that are above EPA health-based benchmarks. Air toxics have serious health effects such as cancer and nervous system damage, but there are currently no national health standards for these pollutants. DEQ currently is focusing on air toxic pollutants, including benzene and diesel particulate, that have emerged as a significant concern.

Data and datasets

  • DEQ Laboratory LASAR database: Retrieve Air and/or Water Quality monitoring data from the Laboratory Analytical Storage and Retrieval (LASAR) database
  • EPA AIRData Web site: Access to air pollution data and detailed air monitoring data for the entire United States.
  • Air Quality Index Summary Report (EPA): AQI values for Oregon available from a query. These values are from the data we submit to EPA and have undergone quality control.
  • VIEWS (Visibility Information Exchange Web System): Index to national air quality data and information. The Visibility Information Exchange Web System is an online exchange of visibility data, research and ideas designed to support the Regional Haze Rule.
  • AIR Explorer: A collection of visualization tools for air quality analysts. The tools generate maps, graphs and data tables dynamically. The tools access ambient concentration data from EPA’s Air Quality System (AQS).
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For more information about Air Quality call 503-229-5359 or email.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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