Home Delaware DNREC chief says air quality good but not good enough

DNREC chief says air quality good but not good enough

DNREC photo

Delaware still has poor air quality days

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reports that air quality has improved since the 1970s/

DNREC maintains a network of 11 permanent air monitoring sites throughout the state to track pollutants.


“Part of DNREC’s mission is to ensure clean air for all Delawareans. Clean air is especially important for our most vulnerable populations: children, older people, and people living with health conditions,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Our monitoring network data shows our air quality is good overall, but good is not good enough. DNREC is committed to working continuously to make our air quality better.”

The air today is cleaner than when EPA first implemented control measures, known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), under the Clean Air Act in the early 1970s. The MLK station, for example, monitors the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s six pollutants of greatest concern under the NAAQS: ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and two sizes of particulate matter.

The station also utilizes the latest technologies for real-time monitoring of the weather, including wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, pressure ultraviolet and solar radiation, cloud height, and rain gauge, all of which are factors in air quality.

The DNREC Division of Air Quality, which maintains the station, encourages residents to learn about important air quality resources. Delawareans can consult the Air Quality Index (AQI) to plan their outdoor activities to protect their health from air pollution. This online resource from the EPA monitors and reports on air quality each day.

In Delaware, air quality is rated as “good” for most days of the year. However, there are days when local air quality can pose health risks to sensitive populations, and the AQI offers up-to-the-minute data on when and where such days might be occur. Visit de.gov/airmonitoring to sign up for air quality email alerts.