Rapid Mapping for Clean Air in Commerce City

EPA Grant Number: R828577
Title: Rapid Mapping for Clean Air in Commerce City
Investigators: Martyny, John W. , Milford, Jana B. , Moreno, Raphael , Ruttenber, A. James
Current Investigators: Vogt, Richard L. , Wagner, Lynn Robbio
Institution: Tri-County Health Department, CO , Metropolitan State College of Denver , University of Colorado Health Sciences Center , University of Colorado at Boulder
Current Institution: Tri-County Health Department, CO , Metropolitan State College of Denver , University of Colorado Health Sciences Center , University of Colorado at Boulder , University of Colorado at Denver
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2002
Project Amount: $400,000
RFA: Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Air , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration

Description:

The goal of this project is to demonstrate innovative methods for providing timely reporting of the spatial and temporal distribution of air pollutants in a heavily industrialized urban community. This methodology will utilize data from real-time measurements of meteorological parameters and concentrations of air pollutants, atmospheric dispersion models (ADMs), and a Geographic Information System (GIS) to map the spatial distributions of selected air pollutants. We also propose to link data from atmospheric dispersion models for Commerce City with similar data from dispersion models and fenceline monitors from Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) Superfund cleanup operations. Simultaneous modeling of the spatial distribution of releases from the RMA and Commerce City sources will help clarify the sources of contaminants and provide timely information for citizens concerned about exposures from RMA. We believe that this project will provide a set of tools for the Commerce City Community to use for monitoring and assessing air quality with real-time and timely environmental measurements.

Approach:

Researchers, GIS experts and air pollution modelers are beginning to combine resources for assessment of air pollution in urban airsheds. Given the ease with which such a linkage can be implemented, it is likely that this combination will become a powerful tool for delineating spatial gradients of urban air toxics from multiple sources. Using the AERMOD dispersion model, concentrations of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, benzene, chromium and diesel particulates resulting from sources in Commerce City will be estimated. The dispersion model will be linked to a GIS database of emissions allowing emissions and the resulting concentrations to be modeled and displayed separately. Concentrations resulting from Commerce City sources will be superimposed with contributions from the remainder of the Denver airshed. The model-estimated concentrations will provide a useful complement to the air monitoring data that are currently collected and reported for the Denver metropolitan area. In addition to evaluating the model results with routine monitoring data, a limited air sampling program will be conducted for the purpose of evaluating the dispersion model predictions of spatial distribution of concentrations in Commerce City. Time-series of two to three hour average benzene concentrations will be measured at approximately 15 locations in Commerce City for use in evaluation and updating of the dispersion model estimates. A Web Site will be designed to deliver the resulting maps of air pollution rapidly so that the Commerce City community can correlate their perceptions of air quality with modeled and measured data. In addition, a major effort will be made to present the resultant data and Web Site to the Community. This will employ the already well-established network of community organizations that already exists in the Project area with a major effort at involving the local school system.

Expected Results:

We expect to develop a set of tools for the Commerce City Community to use for monitoring and assessing air quality with real-time and timely environmental measurements. The tools include:

  • Atmospheric dispersion models that have been designed and evaluated to predict concentrations of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, benzene, chromium, and diesel particulates.

  • A GIS that combines data on source terms and demographics with maps, concentrations of air pollutants measured at air monitoring stations, and output from atmospheric dispersion models

  • A Web Site that provides up-to-date maps of the spatial distribution of specified pollutants.

Improvement in Risk Assessment:

By using a GIS to combine and store a wide variety of information in an easily accessible format, we will be able to provide all project data to agencies and individuals who can use the data for a variety of purposes. Unlike the qualitative risk information available to the public through the current odor tracking and investigation program, the new system will provide quantitative information that characterizes airborne contaminant levels and can be used to assess the risk to the public from exposure to these contaminants. The results from this project will serve as a case study and a pilot test for methods that can easily be adopted by any urban community, and expanded to serve entire urban airsheds.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 7 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

innovative technology, decision making, community-based, Rocky Mountain Region, air pollution, mapping., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Air Pollution, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, HAPS, State, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, tropospheric ozone, Ecology and Ecosystems, 33/50, particulates, urban air toxics, EMPACT, atmospheric dispersion models, chromium & chromium compounds, community-based approach, stratospheric ozone, diesel particulates, public information, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, benzene, chemical mixtures, Sulfur dioxide, urban air pollutants, air pollution models, industrial air pollution, web site development, Chromium Compounds, public outreach, rapid mapping, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, real-time monitoring

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001 Progress Report
  • Final Report