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Mobile Air Monitoring Program

For over 50 years, Maricopa County has been monitoring the air quality throughout this region using a network of fixed air monitoring sites. The department manages 23 locations which monitor various pollutants, including carbon monoxide, ozone, particulates, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide and metals.

In November 2006, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved the next phase in our monitoring network; a mobile air monitoring program. This new system enables us to monitor criteria pollutants and a wide range of other air toxics by doing so on a mobile platform. The Mobile Air Monitoring Program differs from fixed air monitoring sites as it will assess the air quality in specific areas rather than providing representative samples throughout the county. Our top-of-the line equipment will be used to perform case studies, complaint investigations and stack testing.

Case Studies

This section of the Mobile Air Monitoring Program will participate in studies to determine the effectiveness of rules and regulations. In addition, it will help quantify the need for new rules in Maricopa County.

Complaint Investigations

The Mobile Air Monitoring Program will investigate specific areas based on past and present air pollution complaints and concerns at the discretion of the air pollution control officer.

Stack Testing

For 2010, the Mobile Air Monitoring Program is targeting to perform spot testing on stack emissions to determine whether or not permitted sources are within compliance.


The Mobile Air Monitoring Program includes a fully equipped vehicle with highly technical capabilities. The Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS), for example, monitors air toxics, hydrocarbons and sulfur-containing compounds directly from the air, or it can process samples taken over a wide area. The stack monitors measure the following pollutants from industrial stacks:

  • Sulfur Dioxide

  • Nitrogen Oxide

  • Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon Dioxide

  • Oxygen

  • Volatile Organic Compounds

In addition, there are meteorological monitors which measure wind speed and direction, relative humidity, ambient temperature, barometric pressure and solar radiation. An added bonus to the van is a video surveillance system.

The air monitoring program includes a trailer that has continuous air pollutant monitors measuring criteria pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter [PM-10 and PM-2.5], carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and lead.

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All of the platforms and instruments of the Mobile Air Monitoring Program are highly complex. Air monitoring staff will go through several months of rigorous training before this program will begin monitoring and providing data. Staff will also need continued training in order to provide the most efficient data and service to the residents of Maricopa County.

Click here to view the Mobile Air Monitoring Program brochure.