RAQSAPI - Objectives of the RAQSAPI package


Clinton Mccrowey

“United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Region III, Air and Radiation Division, Air Quality and Analysis Branch”


RAQSAPI is an add-on package for the R programming language and environment (hereafter referred to as simply “R”) that connects R to a U.S. EPA database for the retrieval of ambient air pollution data. This document is intended to state the purpose of creating RAQSAPI.

The Air Quality System (AQS)

The Clean Air act (“Overview of the Clean Air Act and Air Pollution” 2021) requires all federal, state, local and tribal air pollution control agencies monitor ambient air for concentrations of certain air pollutants. Codified in 40 CFR Part 58 are the statutory requirements for these monitoring programs, including monitoring network technical requirements, operating schedules, data certification, data submittal and archiving requirements. In addition to the required air pollution and meteorological monitoring, pollution control agencies often perform additional and/or voluntary air monitoring.

As required by 40 CFR Part 58, air pollution and meteorological data is submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency along with associated metadata and quality assurance metadata via EPA’s Air Quality System (AQS)(“About AQS Data” 2019).

About AQS Data Mart

AQS Data Mart is a publicly accessible mirror of data stored on the AQS database designed to make air monitoring data more accessible and useful to the technical community, scientific community and the general public. Data on AQS is copied to AQS Data Mart once per week and this data is made available to the public through web-based applications and APIs (application programming interface) (“AQS Data Mart Welcome” 2018). RAQSAPI functions use the APIs provided by AQS Data Mart to retrieve data.

Benefits of using RAQSAPI

RAQSAPI package for R is a easy to use R package that allows anyone using the R programming environment to retrieve data from AQS Data Mart Database vi the exposed API interface using a set of functions with consistent input variables, function names and output structure. RAQSAPI does not require installation of software or drivers external to R. The goal of RAQSAPI is to make a package which eases retrieving of ambient air monitoring data from AQS Data Mart.


“About AQS Data.” 2019. May 2019. https://aqs.epa.gov/aqsweb/documents/about_aqs_data.html.
“AQS Data Mart Welcome.” 2018. August 2018. https://aqs.epa.gov/aqsweb/documents/data_mart_welcome.html.
“Overview of the Clean Air Act and Air Pollution.” 2021. https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview.