Monitoring Air Quality in the Grand Valley

DEAR has provided funding for Citizens for Clean Air (CCA) to purchase a dozen low cost air quality monitors ($200-$300 each). The primary goal of the project is to identify the types of air pollution and their sources in the Grand Valley. A secondary goal is to develop scientifically acceptable methods that can be applied in other regions. Potential sources of air pollution in the valley include road dust from vehicles, tailpipe and smokestack emissions, leaks from oil and gas operations, wood burning stoves, and biogenic emissions.

Currently, each of several key pollutants is measured at only a single location in the valley. The high cost of purchase, maintenance and data collection with the existing EPA-approved monitors makes it financially prohibitive to increase their numbers. CCA’s project is intended to supplement existing air quality data with additional locations and gasses. When combined with air flow modeling, the combined data sets will make it easier to identify sources.

Wicked Device, LLC, manufactures the air quality sensors, called Air Quality Eggs, used in the project.

Data from the eggs will gradually become available at http://airqualityegg.com. By the end of the year, the pollutants monitored will include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, PM 2.5, and VOCs.