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Air Monitoring

A particulate matter monitoring station at Negaunee, Michigan
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Air Monitoring


Susan Kilmer, Air Quality Division


The ambient air monitoring network is a key element in making sure the air we breathe in our communities is healthy and if we are in attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Michigan’s network has over 40 locations across the state with over 100 air monitors.

If you are looking for accurate real-time information on Michigan's air monitoring network, please visit

Although our state air monitors continue to collect data, our real time air monitoring website ( is experiencing technical difficulties and may be down or partially down for a while.

The purpose of the monitors it to measure pollutant concentrations in the outdoor (ambient) air. Ambient air is the air that the public breathes where we live, work, and play. The purpose of the network is to measure air pollutants over long periods to:

  • ensure air quality standards are met,
  • identify pollution trends,
  • support air pollution forecasting,
  • provide real-time air quality information,
  • assess community exposure, and
  • be used in air quality models.

This network consists of meteorological, gaseous, particle and air toxics monitors mandated by the USEPA in 40 CFR, Part 58 as part of the Michigan State Implementation Plan (SIP). The network is not intended to tell us where pollutants come from or to be used as a tool to regulate a specific company or industry type.

What air monitoring is EGLE doing near me? Check out our interactive Air Monitoring Sites web map to find out more.


EGLE Classroom - Air Monitoring Instruments

Learn How Air Monitors Work

In this video, a technician walks you through an air monitoring station, explains how the equipment works, and what pollutants are measured. The general monitoring factsheet can give more details about monitors in the state.

Air Quality Sensors

The air sensor technology market is expanding as more companies make lower-cost portable sensors available to the public. The information outlined below provides the public with best practices for the use of low-cost, portable air sensors and may be used to assist citizens with the setup of low-cost sensors, evaluation of the data collected and the interpretation of the results.

These sensors have their limitations, however, and they cannot be used in place of regulatory-grade monitoring instruments.



The EPA provides a comprehensive toolbox of low-cost, portable sensor information.

South Coast Air Quality Management District

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) established the Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center (AQ-SPEC) program to provide guidance and inform the public about the performance of low-cost air sensors.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The Wisconsin DNR has assembled a road map, entitled Considerations When Designing an Ambient Air Monitoring Study, for setting up an air monitoring project.

One commonly used low-cost sensor is manufactured by PurpleAir. Comparability studies found that the data associated with the PurpleAir sensors can compare more accurately with federal reference method samplers by applying a predetermined, local correction factor. There are three correction factors currently available on the PurpleAir website. The EPA correction factor offers the most applicable broad scale conversion factor currently available on the website.

Other Wisconsin DNR resources to review are:


The Difference between Air Monitors and Air Sensors

Air sensors are often used by citizens to get more information on the air quality around them. These can be affordable, portable, and easier to use. The information can help the public learn more about air quality in their communities. EPA has resources about air sensors helpful to citizen scientist to help understand what sensors can be used to measure different pollutants and how to understand the results.