EPA Testing Air Quality in Memphis Area

The agency is working with the Shelby County Health Department and the Memphis Area Transit Authority, which is field-testing lower-cost air pollution sensor pods.

EPA is working with the Shelby County Health Department and the Memphis Area Transit Authority, which is field-testing lower-cost air pollution sensor pods in the Memphis, Tenn. area. The pods have been installed at 16 locations -- seven SCHD locations and three MATA transit facilities.

This is part of EPA's CitySpace research project, which is field testing the air sensor monitors to understand how the technology can add valuable information on air pollution patterns in neighborhoods. The sensors are being installed and data will be captured during a six-month period ending in February 2017.

"The knowledge we gain from the monitoring project will help to advance the use of these lower-cost and portable sensors in communities to learn more about air quality. We have received support and interest from Memphis residents and organizations in this project and we plan to keep the community informed about progress and results," said Ron Williams, EPA researcher leading the development of the sensor technology being deployed.

"The Shelby County Health Department has a long-standing relationship with MATA and look forward to this new initiative to improve the air quality and environment for the community," added Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department. "Good air quality is an important part of our everyday health. Helping EPA test new air monitoring equipment in Memphis will assist in informing the community about air quality and what we can do to improve it."

Seven pods were installed at active or historical air monitoring sites operated by SCHD, and two more will be installed at separate locations this month. Each monitor collects data that includes particulate matter, temperature, humidity, and wind, with the data recorded each minute and transmitted wirelessly to EPA.

More information on CitySpace is available here.

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