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Application of Advanced Monitoring to Characterize Near Roadway Air Quality and Exposures

Project Leads and Affiliations:

Rich Baldauf and Eben Thoma, EPA/Office of Research and Development

Key Collaborators:

Chad Bailey, EPA/Office of Air and Radiation and Russ Wiener, EPA/Office of Research and Development
Kevin Black, Federal Highway Administration

Project Abstract Written: October 2005

Project Timeframe: 2006 - 2008

Project Summary:

Mobile sources are a significant source of air pollution in virtually all areas of the country and many parts of the world. Recent concerns and evidence of elevated exposures and adverse health effects for individuals who live near roadways have heightened the concern about the impact of mobile sources emissions. This project will apply open path monitoring measurements and video surveillance techniques to enhance the understanding of how mobile source emissions affect near roadway air quality and exposures. This project will leverage an ongoing EPA study of near roadway exposures, the Traffic-Related Exposure Study (T-REX). The T-REX study is measuring near roadway concentrations and dispersion gradients of PM and air toxics and penetration into buildings near roads. The T-REX study took measurements in Brooklyn, NY in spring of 2005. In the summer of 2006, the T-REX study will be taking measurements in Detroit, MI. This project will add open path remote sensing and video surveillance to the measurements taken in Detroit. The combination of the open path measurement and video surveillance techniques will provide information about how concentrations of numerous air toxics are affected by vehicle fleet characteristics. The fleet information will be generated using new software that translates video images to data on vehicle numbers, speeds and fleet mix (motorcycles, passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs, and heavy-duty trucks).

This work would be a collaborative effort between ORD's National Exposure Research NERL and NRMRL and would involve several partners including EPA's Office of Transportation Air Quality (OTAQ), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT). Ultimately, the desired outcome from this pilot project is to have improved near roadway emissions and air quality data for policy makers and transportation and urban planners, so that their decisions will be based upon sound science. This outcome will be achieved by providing data to characterize the variability of emissions and pollutant concentrations near road and to improve near road emissions and air quality models.

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