The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) announced that a new coarse particulate matter monitor (“monitor”) has begun operation in Northwest Arkansas.

Particulate matter is a generic term for a broad class of chemically and physically diverse substances that exist as discrete particles (liquid droplets or solids).

Sampling ambient air conditions is an important part of the process for determining whether an area is and/or will remain in compliance with a Clean Air Act National Ambient Air Quality Standard. As a result, ADEQ is required pursuant to 40 C.F.R. Part 58, Subpart B to submit an annual Air Monitoring Network Plan to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Further, ADEQ is required to maintain its ambient air monitoring network in accordance with the quality assurance requirements of 40 C.F.R. Part 58, App. A. This network must be designed in accordance with App. D and sites located to meet all requirements of App. E.

ADEQ states that the new monitor was required to be installed because the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metropolitan statistical area (“MSA”) has a population of approximately 514,000. Clean Air Act regulations require that MSAs with a population above 500,000 have at least one ambient air quality monitor for coarse particulate matter.

The new monitor became operational on January 1st.

A link to the ADEQ announcement can be found here.