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DEQ Launches a New Today’s Air Website for Air Quality Information

  • Moira Davin
  • September 01 2022

HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is excited to announce the launch of a new and improved Today’s Air website. Today’s Air is one of the state government's most popular webpages, providing near-real time air quality updates from monitors throughout the state that measure fine particulate matter concentrations in the air and produce hourly averages. The information is shown along with color categories that help to inform personal decisions about health risk, exposure and activity levels.

The new website has a high-resolution map that features zoom capabilities and adapts to desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The updated platform will also allow DEQ to easily add additional monitoring sites as part of an anticipated network expansion. With these and other changes, Today’s Air will continue to provide Montanans with the critical air quality information they have come to expect.

“During wildfire season, Montanans rely on Today’s Air to provide pertinent and accurate information on smoke impacts across the state. The new Today’s Air incorporates a more widely used reporting value that people are familiar with seeing on their phones or smart watches,” said Bo Wilkins, air quality bureau chief.

The new website displays Air Quality Index (AQI) values and concentrations of particulate matter less or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5). These values are consistent with metrics reported by other air quality reporting sites and weather applications on smart phones. AQI is determined using the Environmental Protection Agency’s standardized NowCast algorithm.

Smoke is the primary source of particulate pollution in Montana. Smoke concentrations can vary widely on small time scales and over short distances. In the coming years DEQ plans to install additional monitors and sensors in key locations, particularly in communities where air quality information is not currently available. Expansion and upgrades to the existing statewide network are set to begin in fall 2022 with grant funding recently received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The new Today’s Air website can be accessed via the DEQ homepage, or directly at: todaysair.mtdeq.us

DEQ asks the public to update their bookmarks because the former Today’s Air page will no longer be available after Oct. 1, 2022.

 


Tags: Press Release and air quality

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