There are a few very good reasons why the BAAQMD’s devices sacrifice speed for accuracy, and for using a system that calibrates with what environmental agencies across the nation are using. “When the EPA, the federal government, makes decisions about air quality on a national level, they can say with some level of confidence that the network in New York is giving you the same type of information as a network in the Bay Area,” says Michael Flagg, principal air quality specialist at the BAAQMD.
This data has to hold up in court when, say, the government needs to prove a company is polluting a given area. Accordingly, the feds have strict policies in place for these AQI-testing machines. “They have to meet certain EPA siting requirements: They have to be greater than 10 meters away from trees. They have to have unobstructed airflow,” says Flagg. “And also the regulatory