High Density Monitoring of Air Pollution in the Richmond-San Pablo Area
Community air grants
In 2017, the California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 617 to address the disproportionate impacts of air pollution in environmental justice communities across the state. The measure requires local air districts to take specific actions to reduce air pollution and toxic air contaminants from commercial and industrial sources. The State Legislature also appropriated funding and distributed Community Air Grants through the California Air Resources Board to community groups and environmental organizations for this statewide project.
Richmond is one of the 10 target communities selected by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for additional focused actions to improve air quality. The Richmond-San Pablo area faces disproportionate impacts from multiple sources of air pollution, including oil and gas facilities, high traffic volume, large and small industrial facilities, port and freight activities, and others.The city of San Francisco, located upwind from Richmond, is also a significant source of ozone precursor emissions. Despite these risk factors, there are very few state air monitoring stations deployed in the area, which limits the amount of air quality data collected. This information gap hinders local and state air quality regulators from addressing air pollution effectively, with pollution episodes going undetected and areas of concentrated pollution unable to be discovered.
the hd-map project
PSE Healthy Energy, in partnership with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), will be deploying a permanent, high-density network of low-cost air quality monitors that can adequately measure air quality in the Richmond-San Pablo area with high spatial resolution in real time. The goals for this project are to:
- Facilitate the acquisition of new, robust and hyper-local air quality data.
- Work with local community groups to identify areas with high pollution episodes.
- Support the efforts of regional and state air regulators and community groups to develop actionable policies and give recommendations to reduce community exposure to air pollutants in line with the goals of AB 617.
- Raise public awareness of the relationship between air quality and human health at the community level.
We will conduct a two-year longitudinal air monitoring study to analyze the spatial patterns of local air pollution over time, identify localized hot spots, assess air pollution source apportionment, and track emission changes from varying transportation patterns, recurring refinery and other industrial activities.
Learn more about air pollution in the Richmond-San Pablo area, details of our project, and how this project will come to benefit these disadvantaged communities by reading our blog.
If you have information on air quality issues and areas of severe pollution in the Richmond-San Pablo area, are interested in volunteering for this project, or want to learn more, we encourage you to contact us:
Boris Lukanov, PhD, Project Lead
Lee Ann Hill, MPH