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Use of Low-cost Sensors to Monitor Air Quality Events in Environmental Justice Communities

Description:

The availability of low-cost air quality sensors makes it possible to monitor emissions, identifying pollution hot spots and to help quantify impacts of emission reduction programs in communities adjacent to ports. Many of these nearby residential areas are environmental justice communities.

Data from these sensors can be readily integrated into the internet-of-things, enhancing the availability of monitoring results. It should be noted that the introduction of these sensors represents a new technology, and the precision and accuracy of these devices continues to evolve. The big data generated from these monitoring systems are helpful to identify general air quality trends and possibly episodic events where emissions increase relative to a baseline value.

Objective:

This project will focus on the development of guidance that describes this technology, including the pollutants for which sensors have been developed, where to install sensors in a port, limitations to interpreting results from these devices, how to quality check and analyze results, and educational approaches to disseminate the data to the public, port officials, and policy makers.

Benefits:

Quantification of port emissions in real time has many benefits including:

·
Demonstration to the public of the port’s commitment to ensuring that local air quality is protected.

·
Useful tool to identify high emitters.

·
Emissions maps developed from these data can be a useful tool for epidemiological studies.

·
Impacts of port emission reduction initiatives can be quantified using these monitoring data.

Related Research:

TRB webinar: Framework for Managing Data from Emerging Technologies, September 10, 2020.

Tasks:

To better inform interested parties about uses of sensors for port applications the following activies need to be implemented:

Phase 1 information collection

Compile case studies that highlight the application of monitoring sensors; from these case studies, extract information on:

· Cost and life span of the sensor.

· Pollutants being monitored.

· Required infrastructure.

· Criteria for siting monitors.

· Accuracy of monitoring data.

· Analysis of monitoring data.

· Methods used to disseminate the monitoring data.

· Advantages/disadvantages of the program.

Phase 2 Guidance for Port Application of Sensors

· Identify existing guidance on using these monitoring devices.

· Evaluate information compiled from Phase 1.

· Draft guidance specific for port applications that describes this technology, including the pollutants for which sensors have been developed, where to install sensors in a port, limitations to interpreting results from these devices, how to quality check and analyze results.

· Develop recommendations for educational approaches to disseminate the data to the public, port officials, and policy makers.

· Provide the guidance to external reviewers for comment.

· Develop a final version of the guidance based on recommendations provided by the document reviewers and post report on TRB website.

Implementation:

Port authorities, trade association such as the American Association of Port Authorities, agencies such as U.S. EPA and the CDC, state environmental and health agencies, research institutes and NGOs may find application of this technology informative, therefore these groups should be included when developing and disseminating this guidance.

Relevance:

Application of these technologies has considerable value to port authorities and state officials interesting in identify and addressing the port's most significant emission sources, and in quantifying the impact port emission reduction initiatives have on local air quality. These data would also be of value to researchers and public health officials to quantify possible health impacts to surrounding communities.

Sponsoring Committee:AW030, Marine Environment
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:Medium
RNS Developer:Richard Billings
Source Info:L. Mocerino, F. Murena, F. Quaranta & D. Toscano, A Methodology for the Design of an Effective Air Quality Monitoring Network in Port Areas (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-57244-7)

Y. Jung, Y. Lee, D, Lee, Y. Lee, S. Nittel, K. Beard, K. Nam & K. Ryu, Design of Sensor Data Processing Steps in an Air Pollution Monitoring System.

Port of Albany (https://www.timesunion.com/allnews/article/Air-pollution-sensor-goes-online-in-Albany-South-11438009.php)

Port Authority of Balaeric Islands (http://www.portsdebalears.com/en/en/noticia/apb-installs-network-sensors-measure-air-pollution-its-ports)

Port of Dover (https://www.oceanwise.eu/oceanwise-collaborate-with-marico-marine-to-deliver-new-environmental-monitoring-system-to-the-port-of-dover/)

Port of Hamburg (https://internetofbusiness.com/port-hamburg-iot-pollution/)

Port of Oakland (https://www.edf.org/airqualitymaps/oakland/study-shows-how-pollution-changes-over-space-and-time)
Date Posted:11/01/2020
Date Modified:01/19/2021
Index Terms:Sensors, Environmental justice, Environmental monitoring, Communities, Port districts,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Marine Transportation
Society
Environment

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