How are monitoring stations chosen?

Firstly we assess population exposure – the areas of the country that are more densely populated need to be monitored more – To help with this the country in broken down into zones- Zone A (Dublin), Zone B (Cork) , Zone C (large Towns) and Zone D (rural Ireland) – see FAQ “what are AQ Zones?”

The selection is also influenced by Geographical spread of monitoring.

Then comes the Macroscale requirements – what type of station is needed – traffic or background?

The location of the station is influenced mostly by being ‘representative of the exposure of the population to air pollution’ considerations in this regard include but are not limited to –

Proximity to sources

Predominant wind direction in the area.

Topography of the locality

Avoidance of measurement of micro-environments

Knowledge and experience of site assessment team


Then comes the Microscale requirements, Health and Safety issues, access to power, security issues, access etc

All monitoring stations within the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network, satisfy both the macroscale and microscale siting criteria set out in Annexes III and VIII of the CAFÉ Directive.

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