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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Houston/Galveston Citizen Air Monitoring Project (HGCAMP)


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The Houston /Galveston Citizen Air Monitoring Project (HGCAMP) is a coalition of private citizens in the Houston/Galveston area working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6; the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ( TCEQ) , formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC); the Harris County Pollution Control Division (HCPCD) and the City of Houston, Texas in taking air samples in the Greater Houston/Galveston Area. The EPA,TCEQ, and HCPCD have trained the citizens in the operation of two types of air sampling devices, including procedures in proper collection of ambient air samples, proper storage, and shipment of samples.Photo from  initial training session for HGCAMP volunteers. The first training was held on March 9,2002. Right click on image to  view larger image.

The ambient air samples taken by the citizens are transported to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Services Branch Laboratory at 10625 Fallstone Road, Houston, TX 77099. The samples are analyzed for a broad range of toxic pollutants, including benzene, 1,3-butadiene, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and a wide variety of other airborne toxic air pollutantsPhoto of initial training session..

Sampling began March 9 and will continue to at least the end of the current year (2002). Results of the analysis are made available to citizens taking the samples, as well as the governmental project partners. Results will also be provided to Federal, State, and local health assessment authorities.

The purpose of this project is to ascertain differences occurring between air samples taken by Tedlar bags and Summa canisters.

The ambient air samples taken as a result of this project will serve to provide citizens a general indication of the air quality at their residences (or wherever samples are taken). It should be noted that citizens are taking short duration (three minute) samples, whereas, Photo of lecture on Qualty Assurance from initial tranning session.most National air quality standards are expressed in one hour or more terms.

Another outcome of the project is that the government agencies responsible for air pollution protection in the Houston area will be better able to gauge the need for strengthening their air pollution protection programs in the area, including the need for additional enforcement in the area.Photo of citizens, state,federal, county, and city  participants in initial tranning session.

Finally, possibly the most important aspect of the project is that besides citizens involvement in the collection of ambient air samples, the project is demonstrating and fostering working relationships between citizens and government representatives on the Houston Area air pollution problem.

Click here to review the Laboratory Results for this comparative study.

"These results are meant to demonstrate how the sampling devices work. No representation is made as to their accuracy or the quality of air at any specific location."
Photo of question and answer session from first meeting.

The HGCAMP slide presentation and other documents can now be viewed and/or printed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may Exit EPA download the reader for free if you do not have Adobe Acrobat on your computer.

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