Division of Air & Waste Management

Air Quality Management Section

Air Surveillance Branch

Original Description - January 10, 2000

 Final Fine Particulate (PM2.5) Monitoring Network

Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

In July 1997, the U.S. EPA promulgated a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 microns, or PM2.5. The new annual standard for PM2.5 is 15 ug/m3 and the new 24-hour standard is 65 ug/m3.

Fine particles (smaller than 2.5 microns) penetrate more deeply into the lungs than coarse particles (2.5 - 10 microns). Recent health studies indicate a link between fine particle concentrations in the outdoor air and certain health effects. Fine particles are generally emitted from combustion activities (such as industrial and residential fuel burning and motor vehicles) while coarse particles come from dust emitted during activities such as construction and agricultural tilling.

Some of the health effects that have been linked to fine particulate matter pollution include:


In conjunction with the new standards, new monitoring requirements have also been promulgated. A national network of 1500 PM2.5 monitoring sites was established over two years. The data from these monitors is used to determine attainment of the new standards, assist in the development of control programs, detect trends, and provide a database for the next review of the NAAQS.

The guidance on monitoring published by EPA emphasizes placing monitors in areas impacted by fine particles that are also locations where people live, work, or play. Guidance also includes provisions for monitoring in areas remote from most sources of fine particles (background monitors) as well as monitors to assess transport of particles from areas outside the state.

Delaware's PM2.5 monitoring network was completed in 1999. In addition, as an important supplement to the fixed monitoring locations, Delaware conducts special characterization studies using portable monitors. Examples of special characterization studies include evaluation of fixed monitoring sites and localized fine particulate problem areas.


Delaware FRM PM2.5 Monitoring Network


Monitor Planning Area (MPA) = entire state of Delaware, includes Wilmington and Dover MSAs

Monitoring Sites

Type Location Orientation Frequency Method MSA Scale of Rep.


Wilm. MLK Blvd Community Every day FRM

Wilm. Neighborhood
Core Newark Community 1 in 3 FRM Wilm. Neighborhood
Transport Lums Pond Transport 1 in 3 FRM None Neighborhood
Background Killens Pond Background 1 in 3 FRM None Neighborhood
Non-core Population Dover Community 1 in 3 FRM Dover Neighborhood
Supplemental/Core Bellefonte Community 1 in 3 FRM Wilm. Neighborhood
Supplemental/Core Seaford Community 1 in 3 FRM None Neighborhood

The final PM2.5 network design documentation is available in hard copy at the address listed below and at the Air Quality Management office at 156 South State Street in Dover.

Air Quality Management Section

Attn: PM2.5 Network

715 Grantham Lane

New Castle, DE 19720

Additional information on the new national PM2.5 air quality standard is available on EPA's web site at:




Division Overview and Contacts

| DNREC Online Home | Air Quality Management | Director's Office | Enforcement Section |
| Environmental Response Branch | Site Investigation & Restoration Branch |
| Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Branch |
| Underground Storage Tank Branch
| Text Only | Disclaimer |

| Delaware's Home Page | Privacy | Translate |

2000 Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Hwy Dover, DE 19901 (302) 739-9400

Comments? E-mail the Webmaster

Last Update: 07/20/05 10:36