Most ambient air quality monitoring networks are designed and operated by tribal, state, or local governments. These networks monitor the six “criteria” air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide) as well as some toxic air pollutants.

MARAMA primarily assists member state monitoring groups by offering training and coordination services. In addition, MARAMA has occasionally sponsored technical monitoring studies.

The Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) program is intended to assess the contribution of pollutants to ozone formation in ozone nonattainment areas. PAMS stations monitor for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and meteorological parameters.

  • PAMS Overview
  • Reconciliation of an Emissions Inventory with PAMS Ambient Monitoring Data in the Mid-Atlantic Region (May 2000, T. Stoeckenius and M. Jimenez, ENVIRON International Corporation). Comparisons of emissions inventories and ambient measurements for forozone precursor species using data from two PAMS monitoring sites, in Baltimore and Washington, DC. Morning (6 – 9 am) TNMHC:NOx ratios in the ambient samples were found to be greater on average than corresponding emission ratios. This discrepancy could be due either to some combination of systematic under estimation of morning VOC emissions and overestimation of morning NOx emissions or to the influence of uncertainty in spatial and temporal disaggregation in the inventory or to errors in speciation of HC emissions or to factors affecting the monitoring data.
  • Characteristics of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Mid-Atlantic Region (November 1999, H. Main, S. Hurwitt, P. Roberts, Sonoma Technology, Inc.).
  • Validation of PAMS VOC Data in the Mid-Atlantic Region (February 1999, H. Main and P. Roberts, Sonoma Technology, Inc.). All Mid-Atlantic PAMS sites were found to be “VOC limited.” PAMS sites in the region are downwind of major metropolitan areas. Combustion sources, including both motor vehicles and other fuel burning in metropolitan areas, are a rich source of NOx emissions. Because NOx emissions are high in urban areas, the amount of ozone produced may be limited by the availability of VOCs.

Webinars – these MARAMA webinars discuss issues and technologies available to monitor particulate matter (PM) stack emissions.

Workshops – MARAMA sponsors an annual Monitoring Workshop.  The workshops are intended to allow seasoned state agency staff to meet and compare notes on current topics for the purpose of training and coordination.  Workshop format are presentations by top agency staff concerning experience relevant to the whole region, followed by a panel responding to targeted questions, and general group discussion. Links for presentations are provided for each workshop.