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Citizen Science Air Monitor (CSAM) Quality Assurance Guidelines
WILLIAMS, R. W., T. M. BARZYK, AND A. KAUFMAN. Citizen Science Air Monitor (CSAM) Quality Assurance Guidelines. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-15/008, 2015.
Communications Report on the Citizen Science Toolbox.
Many communities in the United States are potentially impacted by a wide variety of environmental pollution sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages communities to advocate for environmental and public health mitigations and to raise awareness of air pollution issues. To this end, EPA promotes citizen science to involve citizens in collecting environmental data of importance to their families and communities. The Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) Community Advisory Board (CAB) in Newark, NJ, is committed to improving air quality for thousands of Newark residents who suffer from potential cumulative impacts of major industrial and port-related pollution sources on human health and the environment. EPA Region 2, the EPA region that serves Newark, has been a leader in EPA’s efforts to promote citizen science. For this project, these two groups—the ICC CAB and EPA Region 2—are working together to initiate a community-based environmental monitoring study. As part of this study, EPA is developing a Citizen Science Toolbox that contains the tools and information needed for the ICC CAB citizens to collect pollution data for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM), two types of air pollution that can have significant adverse health effects. Citizen volunteers will use a monitoring device called the Citizen Science Air Monitor (CSAM), which was designed and constructed by EPA for use by citizen volunteers. The documentation in this project’s Citizen Science Toolbox was created specifically for use of the CSAM and includes an operating procedure, which provides information on how to set up the instrument and collect and process data, and these quality assurance (QA) guidelines, which offer basic information and considerations for collecting meaningful data. EPA Region 2 personnel will provide technical support as needed to the ICC CAB throughout the project. This collaborative project will benefit both the Newark community and EPA. It will help the ICC CAB identify pollutants in its community that are of concern for both human health and the environment. The effort also will further EPA’s aims of building community capacity for conducting environmental monitoring studies and will form the foundation for Region 2’s Air Sensor Loan Program that will enable other community groups with similar concerns about air pollution in their neighborhoods.