The Cherokee Nation Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program (aka Clean Air Program) began in 1996 with a 103 project grant and has since grown, through a succession of such grants, to become one of the larger tribal ambient air quality monitoring programs in the nation. Cherokee Nation has established a network of four monitoring stations: three fixed locations on lands of the Cherokee Nation and one mobile monitoring station that rotates between tribes in Region 6. These stations monitor criteria pollutants and a variety of other pollutants, including mercury and passive ammonia. Cherokee Nation currently participates in five EPA national program initiatives: the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET); Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE); the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN); the Mercury Litterfall Network (MLN); and the Ammonia Monitoring Network (AMoN). Cherokee Nation also operates an NCore site at its rural CASTNet site near Stilwell. Past program initiatives have included GIS mapping of tribal trust land, creating an inventory of major and minor sources for ITEC member tribes, reviewing new and/or modified major source permits that have been issued by the state, and providing technical assistance and training to the member tribes related to air quality monitoring.
The CNEP Air Program received a 2006 Clean Air Excellence Award in the category of Community Action. The award ceremony was held in May 2007 in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of the American Indian.
For current air monitoring data visit https://vmgis4.cherokee.org/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=d06fcc0b3b0246acac8d51dad68db51a.
To see real-time particulate matter data for the Tahlequah area, click on https://www.purpleair.com/map#12/35.9293/-94.9647.
To see real-time particulate matter data for the Vinita area, click on https://map.purpleair.com/1/mAQI/a10/p604800/cC0?key=RBWTFVS3B1A0NKGR&select=35895#8/36.621/-95.145.
To view educational videos developed by the EPA about air quality, health, and lower-cost sensors, visit https://www.epa.gov/air-sensor-toolbox/videos-air-sensor-measurements-data-quality-and-interpretation.
The CNEP Clean Air Program, acting through ITEC, utilizes a tribal mobile monitoring station capable of evaluating particulate and ozone pollution on tribal lands within EPA Region 6. This mobile station is equipped with a continuous PM2.5, PM10 and PMc monitor (Thermo 1405-D), a continuous ozone analyzer, and meteorological equipment. The station provides near-real-time hourly averages of particulate matter and ozone for tribal communities. In certain areas the unit is capable of wireless data transfers for data validation and posting of data to the U.S. EPA AQS database and AIRNow websites. Hourly particulate, meteorological and ozone measurement information will be available to the public in near-real-time. The mobile monitoring station is available to tribes on a first come first served basis.
The mobile monitor was moved to Ada, OK with Chickasaw Nation in July 2022.