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Air Pollution Episode

Alert Criteria effective December 2018

When weather conditions and/or concentrations of an air contaminant or contaminants are such that immediate action is necessary to prevent further increases in air contamination or damage to life, property or environmental quality, the DEC Commissioner shall designate by order that a "Forecast," "Alert I," "Alert II" or "Emergency" stage of an air pollution episode exists. The Commissioner may also designate by order that an episode exists when a single accident, occurrence or condition has resulted or is likely to result in damage to life, property or environmental quality. DEC uses the federal Air Quality Index and associated Significant Harm Levels for criteria pollutants as alert criteria for air pollution episodes.

Alert Criteria1
Pollutant Averaging
Standard Air Quality
"Alert I" AQI
"Alert 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
Ozone 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
SO2 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)

Contact Information

DEC's Division of Air Resources (DAR) can provide essential information and data-gathering services during an air pollution episode. DAR will provide for an orderly means of coordinating and communicating DEC air pollution control efforts and instructions during air pollution episodes. For assistance in the event of an air pollution episode, please contact DAR or the State Emergency Management Organization at one of the following numbers.

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

  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Air Resources
    Air Pollution Episode
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3251
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