Albuquerque rolls out mobile air quality monitoring trailer

The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department has launched a mobile air quality monitoring trailer as part of the administration’s mission to bring equity to environment justice and public health efforts.

The nearly $750,000 investment from the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Programme will be placed initially in the San Jose neighbourhood, a historically underserved area.

Environmental equity

The trailer expands the current criteria pollutant monitoring network from five to six stations throughout Albuquerque-Bernalillo County.

“Albuquerque is fortunate to have good air quality especially for a city our size, but not all neighbourhoods benefit the same. Historically underserved neighborhoods like San Jose can be disproportionately impacted,” said mayor Tim Keller. “With this mobile air monitoring station, we’re bringing equity to environmental justice and public health.”

The monitoring trailer can be parked in different neighbourhoods to collect localised air quality data to better understand the specific pollutants the area may be experiencing. The trailer must be parked in a chosen location for a minimum of 12 months, but up to three years to collect accurate data and any seasonal variations.

The trailer is not only able to monitor for criteria pollutants but also organic black, brown, and total carbon; as well as 75 hazardous air pollutants (or HAPs) including, volatile organic compounds (or VOCs).

The City said that while Albuquerque and Bernalillo County remain in compliance with the EPA’s air quality standards, knowing more about what’s in our air is critical to protecting public health.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has committed to prioritising issues of environmental justice and the fair treatment of minority populations who have been historically overburdened and underserved. The San Jose neighbourhood was selected as the first location for the mobile monitoring trailer based on community concerns over air pollution from nearby industry.

“Capturing air quality data at the neighbourhood level will provide us valuable insight to better understand public health concerns,” said environmental health deputy director, Mara Elana Burstein. “The air quality programme is enthusiastically looking for ways to innovatively engage with the community and begin to equitably address environmental justice.”



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