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News Releases from Region 01

EPA Installs New "Village Green" Air Monitoring Bench at Connecticut Science Center in Hartford

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

HARTFORD – EPA today unveiled a new, state-of-the-art tool to protect people's health and provide real-time air quality data to people, in the form of a "Village Green Station" - a wind- and solar-powered air monitoring bench that has been installed in the park abutting the Connecticut Science Center in downtown Hartford.

EPA's Village Green Stations are park bench structures with built-in air monitors which measure ozone and particle pollution along with weather conditions. The bench is made from recycled materials and features solar panels and a wind turbine.

Community-based monitoring technology such as the Village Green station provides new ways for Americans to participate in science and learn about local air quality. The real-time data measured by the stations can be used in projects by citizen scientists, students, community organizations and researchers to understand air quality and how events such as weather changes or nearby sources of air pollution can change local conditions. This site provides reliable readings every minute on levels of fine particle pollution also known as particulate matter (PM), ozone, wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity.

"EPA is very proud to install a Village Green Station here in downtown Hartford. This exciting resource will help students and other visitors to the Science Center learn about local air quality issues," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Giving people accurate information about the air they breathe helps them make informed decisions about protecting their own health and that of their family and community."

"The Village Green project is a community-based initiative to provide the benefits of new, real-time monitoring technology so residents and citizen scientists can learn more about local air quality," said Robert Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "The goal of the project is to provide people with information about local air quality and engage them in greater air pollution awareness."

"The American Lung Association applauds the EPA for its efforts to educate the public about air quality and health," said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "The Village Green Station will be an important educational tool for local residents especially on days with high pollution. According to the Lung Association's recently released State of the Air Report, every county in Connecticut received a failing grade for high ozone levels. For the millions of Connecticut residents who are at risk from poor air quality, this initiative is a breath of fresh air."

The Hartford bench is one of seven Village Green Stations installed by EPA in the U.S. to help people learn more about local air quality issues. The other locations for Village Green stations are in Durham, N.C.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Washington, D.C.; Oklahoma City, Okla., Kansas City, Kan. and Chicago, Ill.

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