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Region 4 and 6: Collocated Air Sensor Shelters for Tribes and Citizen Science

2020 Regional-State-Tribal Innovation Projects

Measuring air quality is the foundation of regulatory programs to reduce air pollution. Recent developments in sensor technology allow citizens scientists to measure air pollution in their communities, though the quality of data obtained from low-cost air sensors often is not equal to monitors used by government agencies. A cost-effective way to assess the performance of low-cost air sensors is to check the sensor measurements against the more expensive regulatory technology at regulatory monitoring sites.

This project, an expansion of an effort started in 2019, will leverage existing regulatory ambient air monitoring networks and expertise by deploying air sensor shelters at regulatory air monitoring sites. It will fund construction of air sensor shelters for more tribes, in partnership with additional state and local air monitoring agencies. Tribal agencies and citizen scientists can use these shelters to conduct air sensor projects. Placement of collocated testing shelters at existing regulatory air monitoring sites allows for data comparisons between low- cost sensors and more expensive monitoring technology – a recommended method in EPA guidance for assessing air sensor measurement accuracy and uncertainty. The project team will solicit tribal, local and state interest from air monitoring agencies across the country and will select the best approximately ten locations, with preference to tribal partners.

Partners: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (R6) and other state, local, and tribal agency partners to be selected in R4, R6, or other regions; existing R4 partners include North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; Catawba Indian Nation; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Seminole Tribe of Florida; Mecklenburg County, NC; Broward County, FL; City of Louisville, KY; City of Jacksonville, FL; and Orange County, FL.