Regional councils are responsible for monitoring and managing the air quality of a region. This monitoring mostly occurs at ‘hot spots’ – sites in a region that are expected to have high levels of the pollutant being monitored. Monitoring at these sites can provide an early indication of when pollutant levels in an area may be nearing levels of concern.
Monitoring can also occur at ‘background sites’ (sites that are not expected to have high levels of the pollutant), which are usually located in areas with a high population or where people spend a lot of time outside.
A combination of hot spots and background sites can provide councils with sufficient data to estimate pollution levels and people’s exposure to various air pollutants.