Air Sensor Toolbox

Community Air Monitoring Where You Live in EPA Region 2

Community air monitoring projects that use air sensor technology to monitor air quality in EPA’s Region 2 are providing the public with more information on the quality of the air they breathe.

EPA's Region 2 serves New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight Tribal Nations.

Citizen Science Project in Ironbound community, Newark, NJ

The Ironbound community in Newark, NJ is an example of a community committed to improving air quality for the thousands of residents who suffer from the cumulative impacts of multiple pollution sources. New Jersey’s largest incinerator and 34 other waste related facilities are located in the community. The Ports of Newark and Elizabeth, responsible for approximately 7,000 truck trips daily, and the heavily trafficked highways and rail lines that surround the community also impact air quality. As a result of these and other sources, 25 percent of Newark children suffer from asthma, three times the state average, and asthma is the lead-ing cause of absenteeism for Newark’s school age children.

EPA partnered with Newark’s Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) to design, develop and pilot a Citizen Science Toolbox thatenables residents to collect their own environmental data and increase their ability to understand local environmental conditions.

What is being done?

EPA researchers built air sensor monitors for use by the residents to collect data on two common air pollutants: nitrogen dioxide and fine particle pollution.  EPA trained community members on how to use the monitors and developed detailed guidance on instrument sitings and operation and assisted with analyzing the data and providing results to the community.

What are the benefits?

The collaborative project has enabled residents to learn more about local air quality and sources of pollution.  The project has resulted in new resources to enable EPA to better support citizen science air monitoring projects.