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News Releases from Region 06

EPA, Houston Health Department and the John P. McGovern Museum Introduce New Village Green Station

06/15/2017
Contact Information: 
Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant (R6press@epa.gov)
214 665-22200

DALLAS – (June 15, 2017) The City of Houston’s Health Department, the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently unveiled the nation’s eighth Village Green Station during a ceremony in Houston, Texas. The project is a community-based activity to demonstrate the capabilities of new real-time monitoring technology for residents and citizen scientists to learn about local air quality.

“The Village Green Station in Houston is a great example of working in cooperation with the City of Houston and the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science to improve air quality,” said acting Regional Administrator Sam Coleman. “One of EPA’s core priorities is to improve air quality based on objective data, and this station gives everyone a chance to see that data and how they can be better stewards of the environment.”

The Village Green Station is a solar-powered air monitoring station fitted into a park bench made from recycled materials which will be located outside the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science. This particular bench builds on the innovative technology from previous generation projects and will track weather, ozone, fine particles (PM 2.5), total volatile organic compounds (tVOC), black carbon and nitrogen dioxide. Many of these air pollutants are harmful to human health.

“Houston has more air monitors than any other city in the country but they are on top of research trailers closed to the public,” said Stephen L. Williams, director of the Houston Health Department. “The Village Green bench will stream real-time measurements of air pollution and give visitors opportunities to learn about the importance of clean air and ways to reduce air pollutants.”

EPA developed these stations to put science into the hands of the community. The station collects data on a continual basis and reports up-to-the minute air quality and weather conditions on a nearby display and on the Village Green Project webpage for the public. Data collected is used for research and educational outreach purposes.

“Our goal as Houston’s premier science interactive learning center is to make this type of knowledge and information accessible to every single member of our community,” expressed Dr. Melanie Johnson, President and CEO of The Health Museum. “We are excited to bring the first Village Green Station to Texas in collaboration with the EPA and the City of Houston.”

The air pollution sensors measure two types of air pollutants: ozone and particulate matter, both of which can be harmful to human health. Weather conditions monitored by the station include wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity, which are key factors for understanding local air quality trends. Data collected is available on a display near the bench and is streamed to the Village Green Project webpage for the public to view online. The data is reviewed instantly to ensure its quality and accuracy prior to it being displayed online.

To learn more about village green visit: https://www.epa.gov/air-research/village-green-project

For more information about The Health Museum, please visit: http://www.thehealthmuseum.org

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