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6800 Burleson Road
Building 310, Suite 165
Austin, TX 78744

T:  (512) 916-6000
F: (512) 916-6001


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Monitoring

CAPCOG operates eight air quality monitoring stations in the region, including this one in Lockhart.

Continuous Air Quality Monitoring

Continuous air pollution monitoring collects data on pollution concentrations and meteorological conditions. These data can be used to determine compliance with air quality standards, validate air pollution modeling, measure air quality upwind and downwind of a particular source or area, track air quality trends, and notify the public of unhealthy air pollution levels, among other uses.

In 2014, CAPCOG is operating eight continuous air quality monitors throughout the CAPCOG region, including two stations that were operated on a temporary basis in 2013 that have now been made permanent. These monitoring stations collect data to supplement the regulatory monitoring stations operated by TCEQ.

Ozone Monitoring Plan for 2014-2015

In 2014, CAPCOG conducted an extensive assessment of the regional ozone monitoring network to guide its future monitoring efforts.

> Download the 2014 Ozone Monitoring Network Assessment and Optimization Plan.

Detailed Monitoring Site Information

TCEQ Regulatory Ozone Monitors:

CAPCOG Monitors:

Other TCEQ Air Quality Monitors in the CAPCOG Region:

Quality Assurance Project Plans and Annual Monitoring Reports

CAPCOG's monitoring contractors follow detailed quality assurance project plans (QAPP) in order to ensure that CAPCOG's monitoring data is high quality. At the conclusion of each ozone season, CAPCOG's monitoring contractor prepares an annual report detailing activities completed over the course of the ozone season. These reports can be found in the "Technical Reports" section of this website. CAPCOG's QAPP for the 2014-2015 ozone seasons was posted on July 24, 2014.

> Review the technical reports.

Special Monitoring Projects

In addition to operation of continuous stationary air quality monitors, CAPCOG has undertaken several projects to collect air pollution data that is useful in air quality planning, including temporary monitoring, surface mobile monitoring, aircraft-based monitoring, and discrete VOC canister sampling. These data can be used to research potential new continuous monitoring station locations, measure pollution levels in areas not currently covered by an existing monitor, measure impacts of particular source areas coming into the region, measure the contribution of urban emissions on rural areas, and determine trends in the composition of VOC in the atmosphere.

Temporary Monitoring

CAPCOG conducted temporary ozone monitoring at four stations in the region in 2012 (Liberty Hill Fire Station and Elroy Public Library) and 2013 (Lockhart EMS/Police Station and Gorzycki Middle School) in order to evaluate whether these locations would make suitable new sites for permanent air quality monitoring stations. Data from these sites was manually downloaded rather than reported out to TCEQ's website. The stations were equipped with ozone analyzers and wind speed/wind direction sensors. Data from the 2012 and 2013 sampling is available upon request.

Mobile Monitoring

Mobile monitoring can provide valuable information about the spatial dynamics of air pollution formation and transport in the region. CAPCOG has conducted a number of mobile monitoring research projects, most recently in 2011. For that project, CAPCOG contracted with UT to conduct mobile air sampling on a truck that was equipped with a variety of air sampling equipment and driven around the region on days when high ozone was predicted. These results helped CAPCOG decide to conduct temporary monitoring at Liberty Hill and Elroy in 2012, and also helped collect highly detailed spatial data on ozone levels during one of the worst ozone seasons in recent years for Texas.

In addition to surface-based sampling, mobile monitoring can also involve aircraft-based sampling, which provides three-dimensional spatial data on ozone within the region. In 2006 and 2007, CAPCOG contracted with the Baylor Institute for Air Science to conduct airborne sampling in Central Texas. These projects provided valuable data showing the impact of ozone transport on Central Texas from a variety of regions, as well as the spatial extent of the Austin region's ozone plume.

Discrete VOC Sampling

Unlike other gaseous pollutants like ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, or carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and the volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are found in hydrocarbons are measured using non-continuous samples. Canisters are set up to collect a sample of the ambient air, and then must be taken to a laboratory in order to measure the concentrations of VOC.

CAMS 171 collects 24-hour VOC samples once every six days, and can provide useful data on long-term trends in VOC concentrations, but often the most consequential data on VOC concentrations is the early morning concentrations that occur prior to the compounds having a chance to react with NOX in the presence of sunlight. Therefore, CAPCOG has conducted a number of research projects over the years to collect discrete, morning, 1-hour VOC samples on days when there is predicted high ozone.

All of these reports can be found in the "Technical Reports" section of this website.

> Review Technical Reports

Air Toxics Monitoring

In 2005, CAPCOG participated in EPA's Urban Air Toxics Monitoring Program to measure the level of air toxics in the area. The project involved measuring pollution levels at five locations:

  • Murchison Middle School
  • J.J. Pickle Research Center
  • Webberville Road
  • Travis High School
  • Round Rock

Reports from this project can be found in the "Technical Reports" section of this website.

> Review the technical reports.

Questions?

> Contact CAPCOG Regional Services Director Andrew Hoekzema.