Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Amalia Kokkinaki


Particulate matter is one of six criteria pollutants regulated by the U.S. EPA. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) air monitoring network operated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), or Air District, and to make management recommendations on how the air monitoring network may be improved. Improving the air monitoring network can lead to a better understanding of sources of particulates in the San Francisco Bay Area, which could lead to better modeling and more effective mitigation of pollutants. This paper focuses on seven sites across nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Data from the seven sites were gathered from the Air District and a U.S. EPA database, which included mass concentration, ion speciation, organic and elemental carbon composition, and metals speciation for both PM10 and PM2.5. Monthly averages ranging from 2011-2015 of these components were analyzed and used to evaluate whether the Air District was effectively monitoring for particulates. Results show that the San Francisco Bay Area should focus on PM2.5 analysis, as PM10 levels are significantly lower than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard. While PM2.5 is the primary particulate matter class of concern, PM10 still needs to be monitored because of monitoring requirements, but utilizing beta attenuation monitors (BAMs) technology will be an acceptable substitute.