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The San Rafael Hills in Marin Couty
San Rafael
Marin County

Air Quality Fact

Ozone is the main ingredient in the pollution haze commonly called “smog”. Primarily a problem in the summertime, ozone is a colorless gas formed through a complex series of photochemical reactions involving sunlight and heat.

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Technical Services Division

The Technical Services Division of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District carries out monitoring and analysis of air quality in the Bay Area.

Air Monitoring Technology and Methodology Expert Panel

On July 11, 2013, the Air District hosted a day-long expert panel discussion assessing the latest technologies and trends in air monitoring.  Panelists from across the state and nation discussed how new approaches could be used to fine-tune measurements and better inform communities near industrial areas of local air quality conditions.

A webcast of the panel, as well as the agendamain presentation, and a report summarizing comments and findings are all available online.

About Technical Services

The division operates 28 air monitoring stations throughout the Bay Area. It also operates a laboratory that analyzes air samples using equipment and procedures not available in the field.

The division’s Technical Reference Library maintains copies of all Air District publications, as well as publications from the greater air quality community. Located at Air District headquarters in San Francisco, the library is open to the public. Many Air District publications are also available online on this web site.

The division includes an independent Quality Assurance section responsible for auditing air monitoring operations. This group maintains separate, certified measurement equipment standards in accordance with federal and state regulations to audit air monitoring equipment and insure Air District air quality measurements are accurate and precise. The Quality Assurance section also conducts audits on air monitoring equipment operated within Air District boundaries by independent contractors for regulatory purposes or for other public agencies.

In conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, local universities, and other local air monitoring districts, the division participates in national, state, and local scientific studies monitoring air quality. Recent studies include:

  • The San Jose Central Air Monitoring Station, which is part of the EPA's national Toxic Trends Network designed to evaluate long-term toxic environmental pollution trends.
  • The California Ambient Dioxin Air Monitoring Program (CADAMP), which was a rigorous, multi-year study on dioxin levels in the Bay Area air basin and throughout the state, managed by CARB and taking place from 2002-2006. Air District staff provided the local support for CADAMP sampling at our Crockett, Oakland, San Jose, Livermore, and Richmond sites. The Air District also operated a sixth sampling site in San Francisco on the same sampling schedule as the CADAMP sites.

Last Updated: 11/6/2014