Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department Unveiled Latest Investment in Public Health Protection; an innovative mobile air quality monitoring trailer. This mobile technology is part of advancing the administration’s mission to bring equity to environmental justice and public health efforts. The nearly $ 750,000 investment in the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Program will initially be placed in the San Jose neighborhood, a historically underserved area. This trailer expands the current criteria pollutant monitoring network from five to six stations across Albuquerque-Bernalillo County.
“Albuquerque is fortunate to have good air quality, especially for a city our size, but not all neighborhoods benefit equally. Historically underserved neighborhoods like San Jose can be disproportionately affected ”, Mayor Tim Keller said. “With this mobile air monitoring station, we are bringing equity to environmental justice and public health.
The surveillance trailer can be parked in different neighborhoods to collect localized air quality data to better understand the specific pollutants that the area may experience. The trailer should be parked in a selected location for a minimum of 12 months, but up to three years to collect accurate data and any seasonal variation. The trailer is not only capable of monitoring major pollutants, but also organic black, brown and total carbon; as well as 75 hazardous air pollutants (or PAHs), including volatile organic compounds (or VOCs).
Although Albuquerque and Bernalillo County remain in compliance with EPA air quality standards, knowing more about what is in our air is essential to protect public health.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to prioritizing issues of environmental justice and fair treatment of minority populations who have been historically overburdened and underserved. The San Jose neighborhood was chosen as the primary location for the mobile surveillance trailer due to community concerns about air pollution from nearby industry.
“Capturing neighborhood-level air quality data will provide us with valuable information to better understand public health issues,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health, Mara Elana Burstein. “The Clean Air Agenda is enthusiastically looking for ways to engage in innovative ways with the community and begin to fairly approach environmental justice. “
“The San Jose neighborhood is home to many generations of families, who have lived their entire lives in our community; with this monitoring system in place, as a community, we felt our voice was heard. This surveillance system has given us hope to shed light on the harmful effects that polluted air can cause in a community and to open an extension to other communications to improve the neighborhood of San José and ensure may this community not be left behind, “mentioned The president of the San José Neighborhood Association, Deanna Marie Barela.
The trailer will be parked at the East San Jose Pool. For more information on air quality monitoring visit: www.cabq.gov/airquality/air-quality-monitoring