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Final Fine Particulate (PM2.5) Monitoring Network


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Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

In January 2013, 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 12 ug/m3 and the new 24-hour standard is 35 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:

  • Premature death and increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits, primarily by the elderly and individuals with cardiopulmonary disease.
  • Increased respiratory symptoms and disease in children and individuals with cardiopulmonary disease.
  • Decreased lung function and alterations in lung tissue and structure, particularly in children and people with asthma.


Delaware operates seven PM2.5 monitoring sites.  The data from these monitors is used to determine attainment of the new standards, assist in the development of control program, detect trends, and provide a database for the next review of the NAAQS.  Delaware is in attainment of the current USEPA NAAQS for PM2.5

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 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA)

Monitoring Sites

Type Location Orientation Frequency Method MSA Scale of Rep.


Wilmington 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 Division of Air Quality offices at 100 West Water Street, Suite 6A, Dover, DE 19904.

Division of Air Quality
Attn: PM2.5 Network
715 Grantham Lane
New Castle, DE 19720

For more information contact:

Charles Sarnoski
(302) 323-4542  

Revised 06/15/2016

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