Special Air Monitoring Projects

Learn about special purpose air quality monitoring projects in the Bay Area and monitoring at refineries.

Community Air Monitoring Projects

On occasion, the Air District installs and operates temporary air quality monitoring stations and/or equipment in the Bay Area as resources allow. These monitoring stations are usually placed to:

  • Determine downwind effects from one or more pollution sources.
  • Find out whether air quality measurements at the closest permanent monitoring station are accurately representing pollutant levels in an area of interest.
  • Collect more information about specific pollutants.

View information about selected monitoring projects:

  • Cupertino Monitoring Project (Sept. 1, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2013)
  • East Oakland Monitoring Project (July 2023 – present)
  • Forest Knolls Monitoring Project (Jan. 2013 – present)

Monitoring at Refineries

Monitoring Expert Panel

In order to implement monitoring at Bay Area refineries the Air District assembled an Air Quality Monitoring Expert Panel to recommend technologies, methods, and tools to improve monitoring capabilities near these facilities.

Community Air Monitoring Near Refineries

While the Air District operates numerous ambient air monitoring stations across the Bay Area, the data from those stations do not reflect pollutant concentrations at every location. In addition, exposure to pollution varies from place to place and some communities near large industrial facilities may bear a disproportionate burden from air emissions or other forms of pollution. Additional steps are often needed to better understand and address cumulative environmental concerns in these “fenceline communities.”

To address these needs, the Air District launched its Major Stationary Source Community Air Monitoring Program in 2016 with a goal of establishing air monitoring stations in areas where large stationary sources of pollution may contribute to near-source impacts that are not captured by the Air District’s existing network. The Air District is initially prioritizing communities with petroleum refineries and large renewable fuels manufacturing facilities but monitoring stations may also be placed in communities with other types of facilities in the future. The additional data generated by these community monitors will provide the public with additional information about air quality conditions in communities near the refineries and other large facilities, and will support analysis of air quality trends and other air quality assessments.

The report below provides an overview of the Major Stationary Source Community Air Monitoring Program, and it outlines the general process for considering information to identify areas that would meet the objectives for new community monitoring locations. Also included in the report is a series of technical appendices, which provide case-by-case analyses for the identification of preferred locations for the specific monitoring stations near the five Bay Area refineries. The analysis for the Valero refinery is available now and the analyses for the other will be posted here when they are complete.

Refinery Stakeholders

Sign up to stay informed about rules, monitoring efforts, emission inventory guidelines, and other initiatives specifically involving refineries in the Air District’s jurisdiction.

Refinery Stakeholders Email List Sign Up

PM2.5 Design Values With and Without Wildfire Smoke Episodes

This preliminary analysis provides a rough evaluation of how air quality trends would be different without the impact of a few of the largest most recent wildfires, by removing days in 2017 and 2018 impacted by wildfire smoke from the calculation of PM2.5 design values.

As shown in this document, when days impacted by wildfire are excluded, the 2017-2019 PM2.5 design values are below the applicable state and federal standards.

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Last Updated: 1/24/2024