What’s In the Air We Breathe

New: Draft 2014 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan Released, see this page.

The APCD has a network of 18 monitoring stations to find out what’s in the air we breathe. The data we collect is available on our Station Data page and reported each year in our Annual Air Quality Report. To view historical information on ozone and particle pollution levels at Santa Barbara County monitoring stations, and numbers of exceedances of standards by year, see this page on the California Air Resources Board site.

Our air quality monitoring stations are small, portable structures containing electronic instruments used to measure and record the concentration of various air pollutants. Weather conditions such as temperature, wind speed, and wind direction are also recorded. This helps the APCD track air quality trends and evaluate the likely cause of high pollution levels.

Some pollutants are measured continuously 24 hours a day. Twelve stations continuously measure concentrations of ozone, and are shown in our monitoring station network map. Particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10)  and particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) are measured continuously at four stations:  Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc and Santa Maria.  Data are recorded in real time by the APCD’s Data Acquisition System and posted on the APCD’s web site.

Each monitoring station is sited to meet one or more of the following obje