Air Monitoring

Rev. 8/5/21

RIDEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) maintain a network of monitoring sites in Rhode Island. At each site we measure a variety of pollutants with a specific monitoring objective. For deeper look at objectives, network, and upcoming network changes, view the Annual Monitoring Network Plan.

Why monitor the air?

  • To ensure the air Rhode Islander’s breath is safe, both for the short and long term.
  • To track air quality over many years. It’s also important to identify air pollution control programs that are working and problem areas to focus more attention on.
  • EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Our data determines compliance with these Federal standards

Rhode Island Air Monitoring Locations

The pushpins on the below map represent each of our monitoring sites. Click on each pushpin for details.

Want details on the NAAQS? Visit USEPA's NAAQS Table

Data and Trends

Curious to see Rhode Island air monitoring data for yourself? Running a data query is easy using the USEPA Air Data webpage. Contact Darren Austin at 401-222-2808 ext. 7430 or darren.austin@dem.ri.gov for questions on air quality data.

Ozone Trends – Rhode Island continues to experience several days during each spring and summer when ozone concentrations exceed the 2015 Federal Standard and reach UNHEALTHY on the Air Quality Index (AQI). However, the trend over the past 2 decades shows a marked improvement in ozone concentrations. Much of Rhode Island’s ozone problem can be attributed to transport of ozone and ozone precursors from more polluted upwind regions.

Trends in Rhode Island ozone concentration chart

Although Rhode Island rarely exceeds the daily PM 2.5 Standard (particles with diameters 2.5 micrometers or smaller), there are several days each year when fine particles are elevated well into MODERATE on the AQI. There is also growing evidence that fine particles, smaller ultra-fine particles (UFP), and Air Toxics levels are much more elevated alongside major highways. For a deeper look at Near Road monitoring and mobile source emissions in Rhode Island, click here.

Overall, fine particle concentrations have also trended downward over the past couple decades due to improved vehicle fuel efficiency, lower vehicle emissions, decreases in the manufacturing sectors, and pollution mitigations programs.

Trends in Rhode Island PM 2.5 concentration map

Additional Resources

For further information, contact Darren Austin at 401-222-2808 x7430.