Durango Air Quality Data

Durango and the surrounding area is considered a Class I Airshed – meaning that on the whole we have really nice air. The only divergence from the Class I Airshed designation is the several sources of pollution emitted by the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.


The South Side of Durango’s Downtown has long suffered from Train pollution, especially at night when families spend most of their time at home. The DSNGRR trains burn coal all night long, making the night air worse than Beijing’s. The prevailing winds push this plume of smoke south and east over what has historically been the only Latino area in Durango, as well as being home to the majority of the subsidized housing in Durango, and home to many students and elderly, making the South Side of Durango one of the most vulnerable, and historically underrepresented areas in Durango.

Note in the charts below that the EPA considers PM10 levels over 60ppm to be the limit past which people will start to see negative health effects. The Train’s smoke at night is often over 300ppm, making it some of the worst air quality in the country.



Additionally, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad started what became known as The 416 Fire on June 1, 2018, resulting in even worse air quality, and for a much larger group of people.

Note the levels exceeded 700ppm for Particulate Matter (PM10)

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