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2017 North Pole Saturation Study

DEC is partnering with scientific contractors to perform an air quality saturation study in North Pole. A saturation study places many air monitors throughout a study area to evaluate the local air quality patterns. The purpose of this study is to determine how well the existing air quality monitor at the North Pole Fire Station #3 (NPFS) represents fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels throughout the local area.

Purpose and Outcomes:

The goal of the saturation study is to evaluate the spatial distribution of ambient PM2.5 concentrations across the North Pole area during wintertime air pollution episodes. Outcomes of the study will include:

  • Characterization of ambient PM2.5 concentrations residents are being exposed to beyond the NPFS regulatory site; and
  • Evaluation of where a new monitor could be placed, if necessary, to better represent neighborhood scale impacts in North Pole.


The study is being conducted on behalf of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The Stateโ€™s contractor, Sierra Research, and T&B Systems will conduct the study. The three to four week monitoring phase of the study will collect PM2.5 measurements using 12 stationary monitoring sites and one mobile sniffer vehicle in late January and into February. The twelve fixed-site monitors will be placed inside a circle centered at the NPFS site and spanning roughly 2 miles. To capture the most representative data of a broad area of North Pole, a sniffer vehicle equipped with a real-time PM2.5 monitor will be used to fill in the gaps between the fixed sites. The combination of measurement methods provides a very dense network of sites to directly address and answer questions about small scale variations that may be associated with local sources and microscale phenomena in the region.

Additional Information:

North Pole Fire Station #3 Site


  • Barbara Trost
  • Program Manager - Air Monitoring and Quality Assurance
  • Phone: 907-269-6249

Study Area Map