WVDEP to celebrate national air quality awareness week

The event runs from April 29 to May 3 and encourages constituents to “Check the AQI and Get Outside”

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) announces that National Air Quality Awareness Week will be held April 29 through May 3 and encourages all West Virginians to check the Air Quality Index (AQI) to find the best time of day to be active outdoors.

The AQI calculates health effects for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act – ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has established national air quality standards to protect public health.

iPhone users can enable the AQI in their Apple Maps app. To turn on the feature, open the Settings app for your iPhone, tap “Maps” from the list. Scroll to the “Climate” section, then toggle on “Air Quality Index.” The data comes from Apple’s partner, The Weather Channel, who primarily collects the data from EPA’s AirNow system, as well as state and local agencies.

The DAQ maintains a statewide network for long-term ambient air quality monitoring data to determine attainment with EPA’s federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Air monitors located around the State record the concentrations of major pollutants.

These raw measurements are then converted into a short-term, nonregulatory AQI value, using standard formulas developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The reported index is updated on DAQ’s website, Monday through Friday, and is also available at https://www.airnow.gov/.

For more WVDEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter, Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/depwv/, and find us on YouTube at Environment Matters.

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