Air Quality

The SRMT Air Quality Program (AQP) began in 1990. The SRMT Air Quality Program provides research, analysis and educational outreach to the Mohawk community. The program has operated under Clean Air Act funding under Section 105, Section 103 and private funding. At times, the Air Quality Program also cooperates with public and private institutions to finance research activities. When appropriate, the Air Quality Program is supplemented by the SRMT Environment Division, which is currently staffed with over 30 employees.

The AQP is currently staffed by 2 full time employees and 1 part time employee.

The AQP has 2 stationary monitoring sites. One is located behind the library and the other is located in Bombay.

NAAQS - National Ambient Air Quality Standards - The U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS, pronounced \'naks\) are standards for harmful pollutants. Established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under authority of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), NAAQS is applied for outdoor air throughout the country.

Monitors at Air Monitoring Station located at 55 Library Road:

  • Ozone (O3) API-Teledyne 400A & T400 - Good up high, bad nearby ground. Ground level ozone is created in the air by chemical reactions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) in the presence of sunlight. Some sources of VOCs and NOX are industries, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents. Ground level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems when inhaled including chest pain, coughing and throat irritation. It can also make bronchitis emphysema and asthma worse. Things that can help reduce the amount of ground level ozone are things like not idling your vehicle and not topping off your gas tank. Current Ozone standard is 70 PPB (parts per billion). Average of sampling period (Onerahtokha/April-Kentenha/October) in 2017 was 28.5 PPB. In 2017 the highest recorded value was 73.2 PPB but because the standard is calculated on an 8 hour average, Akwesasne never exceeded the standard.
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) API-Teledyne 100E-Sulphur Dioxide is an air pollutant that contributes to acid rain and smog. It can come from industries such as paper mills and large scale oil refineries. Has significant health impacts like increased respiratory symptoms, difficulty breathing and premature death. Between 1983 and 2002, the EPA’s acid rain program in the United States has reduced the amount of Sulphur dioxide 33%. Current SO2 standard is 75 PPB. The average for 2017 was 0.9 PPB with 12 PPB being the highest value.
  • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx, NO, NO2) API-Teledyne T200-Nitrogen Oxides contribute to the formation of smog, acid rain and tropospheric ozone. Comes from a reaction between Nitrogen and oxygen during combustion of fuels like in car engines. It can be a significant source of air pollution when large amounts of traffic like in big cities. NOX is also produced naturally by lightning. Can react with VOCs and in the presence of sunlight to form and destroy ozone. Particles may cause or worsen respiratory diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis or may aggravate existing heart disease. Current NO2 standard is 100 PPB.
  • Particulate Matter PM2.5-TEOM 1405 - Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance-Particulate matter is one of the deadliest forms of air pollution. There are two different size particles that are monitored throughout the world 10 µm or less called coarse particles and 2.5 µm or less called fine particles. Particles can come from natural sources dust storms, living vegetation and anything that can aerosolize. The smaller the particle the further down into the lungs the particle gets. There is no safe level of particulates. Current standard for PM2.5 is 12.0µg/m3 annual mean averaged over 3 years.
  • Metals-High Volume Sampler-Taken on an 8” x 11” glass fiber filter every 6th day. The high volume sampler pulls ambient air through the filter at 45 standard cubic feet per minute for 24 hours. It is then sent to a laboratory that analyzes it for Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Nickel and Zinc.
  • Meteorological Station

Tribal Implementation Plan - Burn Regs

Program Components

National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)-SRMT site number-NY22-“Acid Rain” Precipitation samples are collected every Tuesday weighed and shipped to a central laboratory for analysis. The parameters checked are pH for acidity, conductivity for purity, calcium, magnesium, potassium, ammonium, nitrate, chloride, sulfate, and phosphate.

Vegetative Fluoride in conjunction with Alcoa- Started in 1999 because of all of the issues with fluoride emissions. Once new controls were put on stacks this project was started to keep an eye out for fluoride deposition on vegetation. After 50 years in business Reynolds Aluminum merged with Alcoa in 2000, then ended up closing its doors in 2009. Project is done at 3 sites in Akwesasne.

Burn Regs/Permits-Issued between Onerahtohko:wa/May 15 and Ennisko:wa/March 15 to burn unwanted yard waste and land clearing. Pick up a burn guideline brochure to find out more about what can be burnt and what cannot. The brochure also lists what doesn’t need a permit. Business permit $50.00. No fee for residents/homeowners.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)-Investigations and inspections on indoor air quality. From water damage to carbon monoxide to odors the air program can give recommendations to homeowners/businesses

Radon-A cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see smell or taste Radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium. Usually found in igneous rock and soil but can also come from water. Every home should be tested it’s the only way to know if you have it or not. Mitigation is simple if you have levels higher than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter).


Mobile Source Outreach Study - Anti-Idling, tire pressure kits, carpool, Don’t Top Off (Newsletter Article on Not topping off-Anti idling)- Description: 2-year project 2008-2009. Utilized teens from the community to help teach community about correct tire pressure.

Fluoride Study-vegetables, water and deer jaws

Characterization of Benzene and Other Air Toxics in Akwesasne - SUMMA Canisters personal samplers Clarkson Univ Alan Rossner

Climate Change-IEc Adaptation plans with HETF Shinnecock Nation and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

Breathing, Living and Learning in the Akwesasne Community - IAQ sensors Clarkson Univ Andrea Ferro

Investigation of Household Dust for Dioxins and Dioxin like Chemicals in Akwesasne


"Bad Air is All Around Us" - Indoor Air Quality - Second Hand Smoke - Asthma-2006 - YouTube Channel.
"To Burn or Not To Burn" about burn regulations, can be seen on the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe's YouTube Channel


NTAA - National Tribal Air Association

ITEP - Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

TAMS - Tribal Air Monitoring Support

TREX - TRibal Environmental eXchange network


10 Years Worth of Data