EDF’s Air Tracker pollution monitoring tool is now live in two new cities—Birmingham, AL, and Vallejo, CA—as local groups ramp up efforts to understand how industrial activity impacts community air quality and engage both the public and area regulators.
Who’s using it: GASP, also known as the Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution, is working to learn more about the impacts of local steel, coke and cement facilities to inform public comments on Clean Air Act Title V permit renewals for these facilities. They also want to use the tool to alert regulators and inspectors of acute pollution events.
In Vallejo, the Citizen Air Monitoring Network (VCAMN) is actively monitoring particulate matter and wants to use Air Tracker to identify potential pollution sources. The local community is surrounded by a Phillips 66 refinery, NuStar Energy tank farm, Selby toxic slag site and the I-80 interstate highway. Multiple heavy and medium industrial sites—including a wastewater treatment plant, a quarry, a concrete recycling plant and a dry dock for ship maintenance and repair—also reside within the city boundaries.
“The Air Tracker tool from EDF is an incredible resource for small, local groups like GASP,” said GASP Executive Director Michael Hansen. “We can use it to gather information and form testable hypotheses about air quality issues in the communities we serve. We’re so grateful for the scientists who created the Air Tracker and look forward to using it in our advocacy work.”
Why it matters: We designed Air Tracker in part to help local communities learn about the air they’re breathing and hope to engage with more groups like these before bringing Air Tracker to new areas.