Marty Suuberg, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), marked Earth Day with an op-ed in the Chelsea Record on a new project to expand the state’s air monitoring network. The MassDEPs effort will provide more localized and timely scientific data to communities and help the department measure progress and develop policies and programs to address areas bearing the burden of pollution.
MassDEP placed a new air monitoring station that takes continuous air samples to measure fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in an environmental justice (EJ) community. MassDEP now has 24 air monitoring stations throughout the state that provide near real-time information on MassAir Online.
In addition, MassDEP, working with the City of Chelsea, the City Council, GreenRoots and local citizens, helped the community place nine PurpleAir sensors throughout the city to expand the measurement of PM2.5. MassDEP also co-located a PurpleAir sensor at the new monitoring station to provide a comparison of the data gathered.
MassDEP is extending this effort to additional EJ communities by making up to ten PM2.5 air sensors available to communities for placement by residents and local community organizations. You can view the data produced by these sensors at PurpleAir.com, and the same data together with MassDEP’s PM2.5 monitoring data at fire.airnow.gov.