Air Quality in California: How the South Coast AQMD's Improving Air Quality


All over, air quality in California is affected by all kinds of harmful activities like wildfires, vehicular pollution, and oil production.

The good news is there are air quality organizations out there that want to improve air quality in California. From running community education programs to funding research, there is a lot going on to combat air pollution.

We’re always looking at what is happening in the PurpleAir Community to see what projects are going on. Together, we’re creating a community of scientists and empowering them with the data they need to tackle air pollution all over the world.

At PurpleAir, we firmly believe that air quality knowledge should be accessible to everyone. And we’re not the only ones working towards that goal.

Today, we’re excited to highlight an air quality organization in California that’s doing its part to combat air pollution. We heard about what this organization was doing and knew we had to share it with our community.

What is South Coast AQMD?

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has been involved in air quality regulation for over 80 years. Throughout that time, it has been responsible for monitoring air quality in the South Coast Air Basin, which is composed of the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

With more than 17 million people in the region, South Coast AQMD is working to protect their health and well-being by managing local air pollution. To achieve this, South Coast AQMD manages all kinds of policies like:

  • Regulating permitting processes that limit industrial emissions
  • Funding programs that replace old diesel vehicles
  • Setting standards to reduce emissions from household products
  • Implementing stricter standards on woodburning fireplaces
  • Educating the public on ways to reduce vehicle pollution
  • Developing rules that limit emissions from ocean vessels

How South Coast AQMD Uses PurpleAir Technology

Today, South Coast AQMD continues its work towards clean air by gathering about air pollution levels. By using the readings from air quality monitors like PurpleAir, it's helping to maintain an extensive database of readings throughout the region.

On top of that, the South Coast AQMD also conducts research into the performance of air quality technology too. And they’ve released various air quality studies on the effectiveness, accuracy, and precision of PurpleAir’s air quality monitors.

All these efforts have helped improve air pollution monitoring throughout the region, as well as increased education and awareness of air quality issues.

Build Your Own Air Quality Network with this Training

Another great program that South Coast AQMD launched was its Air Sensor Training in 2021. The 3-part series shows you how you can build a network of air quality monitors in your area step-by-step—no matter your budget.

The free program also comes with A Comprehensive Educational Toolkit on Air Quality Sensors that anyone can download from their website. With this knowledge, it’s easier than ever for anyone to invest in a monitor that works.

And with that knowledge, we can make air quality a priority for everyone and hopefully inspire change locally and internationally.

Get Involved Yourself

At PurpleAir, there are tons of community projects going on around the world. We’re thrilled to see these kinds of collaborative efforts, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future. Are you working on a community project with PurpleAir’s air quality monitors?

We would love to hear about it. Share a post in the Community Project forum, so we can highlight your work. Together, we can make air quality accessible for everyone.