Air Quality Division
DEQ's Air Quality Division is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal and state health-based air quality standards. Staff in the state and regional offices fulfill this responsibility through the following activities:
Collecting and Monitoring Air Quality Data
Accurate data are essential to scientifically determining whether air quality is meeting prescribed standards. DEQ's regional offices operate a monitoring network that collects real-time measurements of ambient levels of air contaminants at more than 20 sites throughout the state and secures laboratory analysis of these air samples. DEQ's Monitoring, Modeling, and Emission Inventory (MMEI) Program in the agency's state office oversees and coordinates operation of the statewide air quality monitoring network and emissions inventory projects and ensures data quality and integrity.
Issuing Permits and Conducting Inspections
Permits are designed to limit the amount of pollutants that facilities and industries may emit into the air as a regular part of their business processes. DEQ's Stationary Source (SS) Program in the state office writes and issues air quality permits. Regional office staff provide technical assistance to area facilities and industries, conduct inspections, and enforce permits as necessary to assure compliance with air quality standards.
Coordinating Air Quality Improvement Efforts
To effectively control air pollution in the state, a coordinated effort among communities, citizen groups, businesses, industries, other state agencies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is necessary. DEQ's Mobile and Area Source (MASP) Program in the state office and regional office air quality staff work closely together and with these entities to monitor and regulate sources of air pollution that impact large geographical areas, such as smoke from crop residue, prescribed, or wildfire burning, motor vehicle emissions, dust from roads or other open land, and air toxics.