EPA Research: Measuring air pollution in Houston, sampling water in Lake Huron, and more

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Science MattersJune 20, 2017

EPA’s Science Matters newsletter delivers the latest from EPA’s Office of Research and Development straight to your inbox. Keep scrolling to read about recent news and upcoming events.

Village Green BenchThe latest Village Green bench ready to be unveiled outside the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science in Houston, Texas.

Latest Village Green Station Finds New Home in Houston Museum District

Houston, Texas, is world famous for contributions to the fields of science and space. Continuing this tradition, the city is now home to the latest Village Green air monitoring station.The Village Green project was designed by EPA researchers to provide insights into new air monitoring technology and engage the community in their local air quality.

Located outside the entrance to the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science (the Health Museum), the solar-powered air monitoring research station features air sensors and meteorological instruments embedded into a park bench structure. This is the eighth Village Green bench in the U.S. and will be hosted by the Health Museum and the Houston Health Department, who will maintain the bench and help evaluate the sensors’ performance.

Each Village Green station continuously measures two common air pollutants (ozone and fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5), as well as wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity. The measurements are transmitted to a public website every minute: www.airnow.gov/villagegreen. The stations are all located in public environments, including elementary schools, public libraries, a zoo, a national park historic site, science centers, and a public children’s garden. Not only do the stations engage the public in learning about local air quality, but they have also been shown to closely compare with higher-cost monitoring stations.

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