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Air Pollution Episode Alert Criteria

December 2018

The air quality thresholds identified below serve as alert levels in the "Air Pollution Episode Communication Handbook," which is used by DEC to implement 6 NYCRR Part 207, "Control Measures for an Air Pollution Episode." Part 207 requires owners of a significant air contamination source to submit a proposed episode action plan to DEC within 90 days of a request by DEC. Episode action plans must contain detailed steps which will be taken by the air contamination source owner to reduce air contaminant emissions during each stage of an air pollution episode; and are intended to implement the requirements of Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(G) regarding emergency powers and contingency plans as they apply to New York State. This is addressed through the incorporation of the federal Air Quality Index and associated Significant Harm Levels for criteria pollutants as alert levels for pollution episodes.

Criteria for Air Pollution Episode1
Pollutant Averaging
Standard2 Air Quality
Stage I AQI
Stage II AQI
Emergency AQI
PM2.5 24 hr
35 (µg/m3) ≥35.5 150.5-250.4 250.5-350.4 >350.4
PM10 24 hr
150 (µg/m3) ≥155 355-424 425-504 >504
Ozone 1 hr
0.12 (ppm) ≥0.125 0.205-0.404 0.405-0.504 >0.504
Ozone3 8 hr
0.070 (ppm) ≥0.071 0.106-0.200 --- ---
CO 1 hr
35 (ppm) ≥35.5 15.5-30.4 30.5-40.4 >40.4
SO24 1 hr 75 (ppb) ≥76 305-604 605-804 >804
NO2 1 hr 100 (ppb) ≥101 650-1249 1250-1649 >1649

1 AQI Levels from 40 CFR Part 58 Appendix G, Table 2 (as of December 3, 2018)
2 The NAAQS Table shows the Pollutant Standards from the EPA (Link leaves DEC's website)
3 8-hour ozone values do not define higher AQI values (>301). AQI values >301 are calculated with 1-hour ozone concentrations
4 1-hour SO2 values do not define higher AQI values (>200). AQI values of 200 or greater are calculated with 24-hour SO2 concentration

Air Pollution Episode Contacts

Air pollution episodes can occur whenever there are stagnating meteorological conditions and/or air pollution concentrations become excessively high. The Division of Air Resources (DAR's) Bureaus of Air Quality Assurance, Stationary Sources, Air Quality Surveillance, and Air Quality Analysis and Research provide essential information and data-gathering services during an air pollution episode. Control measures may have to be implemented and will be determined by the Commissioner and carried out by field staff through the Regional Director and local governmental agencies. DEC's actions and communications system will provide for an orderly means of coordinating and communicating DEC air pollution control efforts and instructions during air pollution episodes. The following is a list of contacts in the event of an air pollution episode.

Title Counties Phone
Division of Air Resources
Statewide (518) 402-8452
DEC Region 1 Nassau and Suffolk counties (631) 444-0200
DEC Region 2 Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens,
and Richmond counties
(718) 482-4900
DEC Region 3 Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland,
Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties
(845) 256-3000
DEC Region 4 Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene,
Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer,
Schenectady, and Schoharie counties
(518) 357-2068
DEC Region 5 Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton,
Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties
(518) 623-1200
DEC Region 6 Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida,
and St. Lawrence counties
(315) 785-2239
DEC Region 7 Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland,
Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga
and Tompkins counties
(315) 426-7400
DEC Region 8 Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe,
Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca,
Steuben, Wayne, and Yates counties
(585) 226-9485
DEC Region 9 Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua,
Erie, Niagara, and Wyoming counties
(716) 851-7201
State Emergency
Management Organization
Statewide (518) 292-2200

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    Division of Air Resources
    Air Pollution Episode
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    Albany, NY 12233-3251
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