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Data System Name: Air Quality System (AQS)
Data System URL: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/airs/airsaqs/aqsweb/aqswebwarning.htm
Contact Person: Jake Summers
Contact e-mail: summer.jake@epa.gov


About the Data System (Purposes, Audience)

AQS is the national repository for ambient air quality data. It is intended primarily or State, Local, and Tribal organizations to supply their data to the USEPA. However, the system does allow for the extraction of data through standardized reports and on-line forms to view the data.


http://wiki.esipfed.org/images/3/3f/Data Summit AQS Overview.ppt


AQS is the EPA’s repository for air quality measurements from ground based stations. The stations are operated by state, local, tribal, and other federal agencies. Some of the data is required by regulation, other data is reported voluntarily. The agency that collects, analyzes, and submits the sample data to AQS maintains ownership of the data.


State, local, tribal, and other federal agencies submit and own the data in AQS.

List of Publications, Papers, Presentations

Data System Scope

Data Content

Datasets Served

AQS contains ambient air quality measurements (mostly at the hourly or daily sample length), summaries of these measurements (at a daily, quarterly, and annual basis), special calculations required by the regulations (like 8-hour running averages for ozone), site and monitor metadata, and quality assurance information about the data.


Over 1,000 parameters are collected and maintained by AQS including criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants, speciation data, and air toxics.

Spatial - Temporal Coverage

AQS contains data from all 50 states, the Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and data from border sites in Mexico and Canada. AQS has data available from 1957 to the present day consisting primarily of hourly and 24-hour samples.



Data from AQS is used by other organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the current air quality standards and to assess where the standards are being violated. It is also a major source of input to epidemiological and other health studies.

Forecasting and Reanalysis

To my knowledge, this data is not used in forecasting.

Model/Emissions Evaluation

AQS provides no capabilities to model data or to evaluate emissions. However the ground observation data in AQS is used validate model projections of air quality.

Characterization, Trends, Accountability

AQS is the basis for EPA’s characterization of air quality effecting the populations and ecosystems, the efficacy of control strategies, and exposure to toxic pollutants – all top level EPA air quality management goals.


Not Given

Data System IT

Primary/Official Store for Some data

Station based air quality measurements from the national ambient air quality monitoring network(s).

Data Consolidation/integration

Data from multiple networks is included (criteria, toxics, visibility, etc.)

Providing Data Access to users/externals

AQS provides standard and ad hoc report access to users. By policy, only state, local, tribal and federal agency employees and contractors are allowed an AQS account. External access is handled by the AQS Data Mart. The AQS Data Mart is the dissemination piece of AQS. It contains all of the data reported to AQS from 1980 to the present (even AQS does not keep that much on-line). It is updated nightly with the data added to AQS during the business day. Access requires registration but is open to anyone and there is a guest account. Access is via 5 SOAP web services or a “Direct Interface” query builder (which is just a GUI on top of the SOAP web services).

Data Processing

Quality assurance and temporal aggregation.


Not Given

Decision Support (e.g. some integration into user business process)

Not Given

End-to-End Integration

Not Given

Other DS Values

Not Given

Data Access and/or Output Interoperability

The AQS database can be accessed by end users through the AQS application or Oracle Discoverer. The AQS Data Mart can be accessed via SOAP web services, a query interface on the EPA TTN, or via an SQL connection for EPA users and applications.

Reusable Tools and Methods

Exchange Network web services

Security Barriers and Solutions

EPA architecture

User Feedback Approach

List server, emails.

Other Architecture

Not Given

User Provided Content