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Air Quality

Air Quality MonitoringEvery 15 minutes the hazecam posts an updated photo from the fire tower at Seney National Wildlife Refuge. The cam shows views of Upper F Pool and I Pool.

About Midwest Hazecam

To provide the public with information about visibility throughout the upper Midwest, the Midwest Regional Planning Organization, in cooperation with a number of other groups, established a visibility camera network. The network includes several urban (Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; and Cincinnati, OH) and rural locations (Seney National Wildlife Refuge, MI; Mayville, WI; and Isle Royale National Park, MI/Grand Portage, MN). Site operators include state and local air pollution control agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Grand Portage Tribe in MN.

The images from the cameras are updated every 15 minutes. In addition, near real-time air quality data (instantaneous) and meteorological data (hourly average) are provided to distinguish natural from man-made causes of poor visibility, and to provide current air pollution levels to the public.

For many years, visibility impairment has been considered the "best understood and most easily measured effect of air pollution." (Council on Environmental Quality, 1978). Visibility impairment due to regional haze is a problem affecting many areas throughout the U.S. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 require the prevention of any future and the remedying of any existing visibility impairments in Class I areas when impairments are human caused air pollution. (Class I areas are defined as the larger national parks and Wilderness areas in existence in 1977.) In 1999, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated rules to address visibility impairment due to regional haze. Regional haze is visibility impairment caused by the cumulative air pollutant emissions from numerous sources over a wide geographic area.

Learn more about Air Quality Monitoring at Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

Page Photo Credits — View from the Air Quality Monitoring Camera: F and I Pools - USFWS
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2014
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