It’s Air Quality Awareness Week and the DEQ Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Division (You may know us as “The Lab”) thought it a great time to address one of the most common questions we receive: What is the difference between air quality data collected by DEQ and that collected by people with low-cost sensors? As scientists, we might frame the question as so: How do I collect data of known quality?
Richard Deng, an Oregon high school student, felt the effects of wildfires on air quality, and then set out to make a tool to help his community.
Among the most frequently asked questions to DEQ at this time of year are: Am I allowed to burn yard debris in my backyard? What about smoke from my neighbor’s open burning? Here are some answers, including links to valuable resources for anyone considering setting flame to branches, leaves or other residential debris.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon State University invite you to take a survey about how people in Oregon heat their homes and the effects on air quality throughout the state. Take the survey at https://orst.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cVkpriWxXt4ZUtE
The number of unhealthy air quality days caused by wildfires are increasing across Oregon. In 2020, those living here experienced the worst air quality ever recorded in the state.
For years, the Oregon Smoke Blog has been the go-to resource for anyone wanting to learn the latest and best information on smoke conditions during wildfire season. And now, the blog is even better. In preparation for the upcoming summer months, DEQ has revamped the blog to give it a cleaner design and make itContinue reading “Introducing the new and improved Oregon Smoke Blog”
With just 82 employees, the Oregon Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Program, DEQ’s lab, provides the scientific and technical capacity to respond quickly to a broad range of emerging issues and unprecedented events, such as wildfires, that affect public health and the environment.
People across Oregon have been suffering the impacts from unprecedented wildfires throughout our state and region and I want to acknowledge the tremendous losses that have been suffered by our fellow citizens. Up and down the West Coast, the destruction from these fires is heartbreaking.
DEQ’s role when wildfires burn is to let the public know about the quality of the air and what steps to take if it starts to head into the unhealthy range. The agency depends on its ever-growing network of air monitors along with a host of other government, tribal and health organizations to accurately predict where the smoke is going to be and how it affects air quality.
A glance at a map of air quality monitors around the state provides a quick check of the air. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality uses a color-coded system to signal air quality at each of the monitors. Green means good. Maroon means hazardous. And there are three colors, and levels of air quality inContinue reading “Knowing the colors of the air quality index”