May 18, 2023

Public Reminded to Monitor Air Quality Conditions with City's Online Feature




RAPID CITY, SD—With the smoky haze covering Rapid City and most of South Dakota this week due to the Canadian fires, City officials remind the public of a website feature that monitors daily and hourly air quality conditions in Rapid City.

            The ‘Air Quality Index’ link has been on the City’s website since 2021 and can be found at two locations on the City’s home page at - in the Community Bookmark and ‘What’s News In The City’ sections.  Visitors are taken to AirNow, a one-stop source for air quality data.  AirNow reports air quality using the official US Air Quality Index (AQI).  AirNow is a partnership of the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, NASA, Centers for Disease Control and tribal, state and local air quality agencies.

            With the arrival of the smoky conditions, the air quality index for Rapid City is currently listed as ‘unhealthy’.

For Rapid City, the Air Quality Index displays a color-coded scale from 0-500, ranging from good to hazardous designations.  The scale is used to communicate the air quality for the Rapid City area and anywhere in the country.  Other features of the page include a color-coded map matching the color scale to show the air quality of the region.  The Air Quality Index displays the current air quality and is updated hourly.  It also includes any pollutants that may be impacting the air quality index and a recommendation or advisory on outdoor activities given the current air quality.

            “The Air Quality Index feature is a great way for the public to check and monitor the air quality of our area,” said City Senior Planner Kelly Brennan.  “The designations provide important details about the air quality in Rapid City and the surrounding area at given times and also provides important advice on precautions to take, especially when the index falls into the unhealthy or hazardous categories.”

           With the current air quality designations for the region, the City’s Air Quality Office provides a recommendation for the elderly, young and anyone with respiratory problems to avoid excessive physical exertion and minimize outdoor activities. 

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