The Pala Environmental Department has maintained an air quality grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency since 1999. The grant funds pay for staff and training, as well as computers, air quality monitoring equipment, solar panels, vehicles and more.
Our air program includes sampling for dust particles, ozone, lead and other pollutants in the air. Our air technician Darold Wallick is responsible for operating and maintaining both of our air monitoring stations, managing our air quality database and developing and updating our air quality project plans and standard operating procedures. The air program is also responsible for developing our Air Quality Index (AQI) and for conducting all Indoor Air Quality Assessments (IAQA) here on the Reservation. The IAQA includes testing for mold, carbon dioxide, radon, and particulate matter. Indoor air quality can be up to five times more polluted than ambient air quality. Because most of us spend the majority of our time indoors it is important to understand the different sources and what steps you can take to improve the quality of the air you breathe indoors. Please contact us if you would like more information regarding this topic. The AQI is a tool we use to report our air quality readings to the Pala community. You may have seen these colorful flyers posted at the locations throughout the reservation. It tells you how clean or polluted the air is and what associated health effects might be a concern for you.
With global climate change becoming a bigger threat than ever before, Pala’s air quality program provides vital information to help us cope with these changes.