Regulatory Grade Monitors

Commercial Grade Monitors

Air Quality Monitor

Air Monitoring

LRAPA monitors for different forms of air pollution throughout Lane County. These types of pollutants can be broken into two categories, Criteria Air Pollutants and Hazardous Air pollutants (HAPS).

Criteria Air Pollutants

The EPA sets national air quality standards (NAAQS) for six common pollutants, also called criteria pollutants, to protect public health. Monitoring sites across the United States report data to EPA for these six criteria air pollutants:

    • Ozone (O3)
    • Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
    • Carbon monoxide (CO)
    • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
    • Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
    • Lead (Pb)

(PM10 includes particles less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter. PM2.5 includes particles less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers and is also called fine particle pollution.)

LRAPA currently monitors for two of these criteria pollutants, Ozone and Particulate Matter. The other four criteria pollutants have been monitored for in the past and have shown that they do not meet levels of concern and continued monitoring.

Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) / Toxic Air Pollutants

Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) (also called toxic air pollutants or air toxics) are pollutants that are known or suspected to cause serious health problems such as cancer. There are 188 such hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) identified by the EPA. Examples of these toxic air pollutants include acetaldehyde, which can be emitted from wood stoves/fireplaces and gasoline powered engines; arsenic, which is naturally occurring in the Pacific Northwest due to volcanic origins but can also be found in agricultural pesticides and some metal processing activities; benzene, which is found in gasoline; formaldehyde which can be emitted by incomplete fuel combustion, railroad emissions, and wood burning; and naphthalene, which is can be released from the burning of diesel, or use of creosote. Examples of other pollutants listed as air toxics include dioxin, asbestos, and metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium, and lead compounds. The National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) is EPA’s ongoing comprehensive evaluation of air toxics in the U.S.

Regulatory Grade Monitors

Gravimetric Sampler:

This monitoring equipment pulls a known volume of ambient air through very fine filters that are weighed at a lab with an extremely sensitive scale called a micro-balance. This highly accurate form of measuring air is slow and requires significant staff time and effort which involves trips to retrieve filters then time to weigh and report the findings.

Air Quality Monitor

Beta-Attenuation Sampler:

This monitoring equipment provides hourly data points by measuring the adsorbed beta radiation to determine air quality. This FEM monitoring equipment can be cumbersome to setup and requires continued maintenance and calibration.

Air Quality Monitor

Nephelometer:

This monitoring equipment determines concentrations of particles by measuring the light reflected from particles in the air. This form of monitoring provides near-constant air quality information but has an initial high cost and requires continued maintenance and calibration.

Nephelometer Air Quality Monitor

Commercial Grade Monitors

Other forms of monitoring exist which are commercially available to purchase and install. These commercial grade sensors are significantly more affordable than their regulatory grade counterparts, but not sensitive or precise enough for regulatory reporting. However, many of these monitors are accurate enough to provide useful air quality information for general purposes. LRAPA has installed a network of over 90 commercial grade particulate matter sensors called, “Purple Air Sensors” throughout lane county.

Purple Air Sensor:

These sensors provide real-time Particulate Matter measurements. The sensor determines concentrations of particles by measuring the light reflected from particles in the air. Data is uploaded to the internet via wireless internet connection.

A Guide to Purple Air Sensors | Una guía para los sensores de Purple Air

To access the purple air sensors in Lane County, visit the EPA’s Fire and Smoke Map. Or download the AirNow app from the Apple App Store, or the Google Play Store.

Purple Air: Air Quality Monitor

LRAPA monitors air quality throughout Lane County with eight regulatory-grade monitors and over 90 commercial-grade air sensors. Air Quality Index values are updated hourly.

Find the current air quality, look up the closest monitor to you, and learn more about the Air Quality Index (AQI) on the Current Air Quality Page.

LRAPA regulates the burning of wood and yard debris, known as “outdoor burning,” in Lane County. LRAPA also enforces home wood heating – such as fireplaces and wood stoves – opacity ordinances for the cities of Eugene, Springfield and Oakridge.

Seasonal and daily restrictions can exist for both forms of burning. Check to see if there are any active burning curtailments in effect on the burning restrictions webpage.

LRAPA logo
LRAPA is responsible for issuing air permits to commercial and industrial operations with emissions above a certain threshold. Check to see if your business needs a permit by following our 5-step guide on our Permitting Overview webpage.

Asbestos is the name of a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are heat-resistant, strong and extremely durable. Asbestos has historically been used in over 4,000 building products because of these properties.

Asbestos can cause lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. There is no safe level of exposure to friable asbestos.

LRAPA regularly solicits public comment on proposed agency actions such as rule changes, proposed air permits, and the agency’s annual budget. LRAPA also hosts monthly Board of Director and Citizen Advisory Committee meetings.

Learn more about these public comment window and public meetings on our News, Notices & Public Calendar webpage.

The physical environment is a crucial component of any individual’s health and well-being.  Every community needs access to safe air, land and water.  LRAPA has curated together a collation of topics commonly asked about by the community to provide information, important details, and connect interested community members with resources.

Explore the many topics of information on our Community Center webpage.

LRAPA is the local air authority responsible for monitoring Lane County’s air and administering programs that protect and improve air quality. LRAPA was founded in 1968 as an intergovernmental agreement between the cities of Springfield and Eugene. Today’s intergovernmental agreement includes Lane County and the cities of Cottage Grove, Eugene, Oakridge, and Springfield.