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Air Toxic Monitoring Network (ATMN)

Toxic air pollutants, also called Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), are known or suspected to cause adverse health or environmental effects. Most air toxics originate from human activities such as vehicle emissions, factories, solvents, etc. The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to regulate emissions of toxic air pollutants from a published list of industrial sources referred to as 'source categories.' These sources must meet control technology requirements for toxic air pollutants.

The EPA is required to develop regulations for all industries that emit one or more of the pollutants in significant quantities. Ambient Air Toxic Monitoring is an important part of the efforts to control air toxics pollutant which consists of both national and community-scale programs. The ATMN consists of three separate monitoring programs: The Urban Air Toxics Monitoring Network (UATM), The National Air Toxics Trends Stations (NATTS), and The Community Assessment Monitoring program (CAMP).

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality currently operates two ambient air toxics monitoring programs in Virginia:

1.     National Air Toxics Trends Stations network:

The Air Toxics Monitoring Steering Committee was established in 1999 to oversee the development of a national air toxics monitoring network. In 2002, EPA deployed the National Air Toxics Trends Stations (NATTS) network. The objective for the NATTS network is to provide long-term monitoring data for a limited number of air toxics across representative areas of the country in order to establish overall trends for these pollutants.  The required pollutants included Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Carbonyls, PM10 metals, Hexavalent chromium, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). 

The NATTS network currently consists of 27 sites (20 urban, 7 rural) across the United States.  In July 2008, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality began operating a NATTS located at the MathScience Innovation Center, 2401 Hartman Street, Richmond.    

Current list of NATTS Sites:

Operating Agency
Roxbury MA
MA Department of Environmental Protection
Providence RI
RI Department of Environmental Management
Underhill VT
VT Department of Environmental Conservation
Bronx NY
NY Department of Environmental Conservation
Rochester NY
NY Department of Environmental Conservation
Washington DC
DC Department of Health
Richmond VA
VA Department of Environmental Quality
Tampa FL
Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission
Pinellas County FL
Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management
Atlanta GA
GA Department of Natural Resources           
Grayson Lake KY
KY Department of Environmental Protection
Chesterfield SC
SC Department of Health and Environmental Conservation
Detroit MI
MI Department of Environmental Quality
Chicago IL
IL Environment Protection Agency           
Horicon WI
WI Department of Natural Resources
Houston TX
TX Commission on Environmental Quality
Karnack TX
TX Commission on Environmental Quality
St. Louis MO
MO Department of Natural Resources
Bountiful UT
UT Department of Environmental Quality
Grand Junction CO
CO Department of Health and Environment
San Jose CA
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Phoenix AZ
AZ Department of Environmental Quality
Los Angeles CA
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Rubidoux CA
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Seattle WA
WA Department of Ecology
La Grande OR
OR Department of Environmental Quality
Portland OR
OR Department of Environmental Quality

2. Urban Air Toxics Monitoring network:

In 2002, The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality established Urban Air Toxic Monitoring Stations as part of Air Toxics Monitoring Network. These stations are the State / EPA Region III cooperative-monitoring sites supported by a special 103 Grant and the Performance Partnerships Grant (PPG). Data collected from these sites are used to characterize the present urban air toxic concentrations including trend analysis. The UATM allows DEQ to assess the reasonableness of the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA).

The NATA estimates emissions and health risk information on selected air toxics pollutants and diesel particulate matter (diesel PM). EPA operates a web site which contains current information concerning the NATA program and activities

Virginia currently operates two UATM sites:

Site Code
Carter G. Woodson Middle School
1000 Winston Churchill Drive
Virginia Beach
DEQ Tidewater Regional Office
5636 Southern Blvd

Sampling at the UATM sites consists of ambient air samples. These samples take three different forms. The first is ambient air samples collected in canisters for the capture of VOCs. The second is ambient air drawn through DNPH treated cartridges to collect Carbonyls. The third form passes ambient air through quartz filters to collect a range of particulate matter.

The sampling frequency is one 24-hour canister sample, one 24-hour DNPH coated Carbonyl cartridge, and one 24-hour Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) filter on every 6th day. The target pollutants are included in the list of 188 HAPs and some selected metals.

Canister samples are collected in a specially deactivated 6-liter canister. Integrated, whole air samples are collected using a mass flow controlled sampler. Canister samples are analyzed at the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) using Gas Chromatography and a Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) by EPA Method TO14/15. A list of TO14/15 target compounds is available for review. Carbonyl samples are analyzed at DCLS for  7 Carbonyl compounds using liquid chromatography by EPA method TO-11. Filter samples are weighed and analyzed by DCLS for some selected metals.

Additional information

The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act (CAA) is a web site maintained by the EPA. This web site attempts to demystify the CAA and uses plain English to explain the requirements set forth in the CAA. Also, the EPA has developed a compendium of methods for the following:

Questions concerning any variations to the above methods should be directed to the DCLS Laboratory Manager:

Ashley Pierce
Scientist Manager
Dept. of General Services
Phone: 804-648-4480, ext. 360  

Questions concerning the DEQ Ambient Air Toxics Monitoring Program should be directed to:

Baxter Gilley
Office of Air Quality Monitoring
4949-C Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060
Phone: 804-527-5188
Fax: 804-527-5160

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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