2016 Progress Report: Shared Air/Shared Action (SA2): Community Empowerment through Low-cost Air Pollution Monitoring

EPA Grant Number: R836182
Title: Shared Air/Shared Action (SA2): Community Empowerment through Low-cost Air Pollution Monitoring
Investigators: Griswold, Wendy , Erdal, Serap , Erickson, Larry E. , Johnson, Cheryl , Maghirang, Ronaldo , Merritt, Gail , Renas, Margaret , Salazar, Peggy , Urbaszewski, Brian , Wasserman, Kim
Institution: Kansas State University , Alliance for a Greener South Loop , Delta Institute , Little Village Environmental Justice Organization , People for Community Recovery , Respiratory Health Association , Southeast Environmental Task Force , University of Illinois at Chicago
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2019
Project Period Covered by this Report: May 1, 2016 through April 30,2017
Project Amount: $750,000
RFA: Air Pollution Monitoring for Communities (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air


The objectives for this project are to:  (1) investigate that community-led research results in improved understanding of the pollution concentrations and the development of sustainable community-specific strategies to effectively monitor pollutants, analyze and communicate results; (2) investigate cross-community coalition building; (3) investigate the ability of the coalition to leverage resources to create future coordinated action plans to reduce exposure and mitigate health risks; and (4) evaluate and document the collaborative community-based research process utilized.

Progress Summary:

The period covered by this report aligned with Phase 1 of the project, which was focused on mobilization (preparing for community training, monitoring and data collection) for Phase 2. This resulted in the following accomplishments:

Refined contaminants of concern and selected air sensor equipment – Community partners identified contaminants of concern as PM2.5 and 10, and NO2 based on their local air quality threats such as diesel and gasoline emissions, metal recyclers, pet coke and manganese storage, and manufacturing sites. The Partner Coalition Board (comprised of community, non-profit and university partners) extensively reviewed the low-cost and very low-cost sensors currently available for these contaminants. The project has purchased Purple Air and Airbeam (very low cost) and MetOne (low cost) for monitoring PM2.5and 10 and Terrier (very low cost) and Aeroqual 500 (low cost) for monitoring NO2 and O3.

Developed community specific air monitoring plans – Community partners engaged in an intensive process to develop air monitoring plans specifically tailored to each community's goals and concerns. The process identified key decision points for community consideration, including pollutants to monitor, local emission sources, locations of sensitive populations, recruit safety, locations for stationary hosts, estimates of variance in local air quality based on National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) data and Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool (EJScreen) data, meteorological data, monitor type, stationary vs. mobile monitoring, spatial and temporal coverage, ancillary equipment, power source, Wi-Fi source, reading rate, and data download and presentation. Community partners solicited input from their individual communities to inform their tailored plans through a variety of means, such as meetings and less formal interactions.

Conducted pilot – In April 2017, the equipment, training, and air monitoring routes were tested for one week by a community partner. The pilot consisted of mobilization for a monitoring session, including setting up and installing stationary equipment, preparing mobile monitoring equipment, training staff and community members on health and safety and in the use of air sensors, walking air monitoring routes, and downloading/uploading data. During this period, work began on a system for automating the data download for the five monitoring devices being tested. The on-the-ground experience was invaluable for generation of pilot data (needed as test data for data system development) and developing and adapting the protocols to ensure efficient and safe transfer of this data.

Future Activities:

The project is currently implementing Phase 2 activities. Planned activities include summer monitoring in four communities (June-September 2017), co-location study (October/November 2017), winter monitoring in four communities (January-April 2018), and various community engagement activities to communicate data and results to community residents. Individual communities are developing tailored engagement plans that best suit their community needs and norms.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 3 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Erickson LE. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality: two global challenges. Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy 2017;36(4):982-988. R836182 (2016)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: Wiley Online-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: Wiley Online-Abstract
  • Other: Wiley Online-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Adult education, air, capacity building, environmental justice, exposure, health effects, Midwest, monitoring, surveys, transformative learning

    Relevant Websites:

    Kansas State University Shared Air/Shared Action (SA2) Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2017