Website lets anyone monitor air quality in Garfield County
RIFLE, Colorado ” The whole world can now keep track of western Garfield County’s air quality online, using a new website with real-time images and data on pollution levels and current weather conditions.
The site, http://www.garfieldcountyaq.net, went live in late December using data collected at a newly installed monitoring station in downtown Rifle.
“With air quality being such a huge issue in our community related to the oil and gas industry and growth in general, it’s important to get timely, accurate information into the hands of the public,” said Jim Rada, the county’s environmental health director.
The website monitors ground level ozone, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and takes digital images of current visibility every 15 minutes.
A basic information page explains each of the parameters being monitored, with a seven-day timeline, information on health effects, and an archive of historical images and data.
The Garfield County Environmental Health Department’s air quality program aims to increase public awareness and educate citizens on air quality issues in the county, Rada said.
The program is funded by the county, although $207,000 for the continuous monitoring came from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The project grew out of the county’s ambient air quality study conducted between 2005 and 2007.
Three additional monitoring sites not linked to the website are located in Parachute and at two locations near natural gas fields.
“We will also be meeting with some representatives in Carbondale this week to talk about the possibility of setting up air monitoring in that area as well,” Rada said.
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