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EPA Measuring Air Quality at the Street Level

Google Street View allows us to drop in and virtually walk the streets of small towns in the U.S., big cities across Europe, and many places in between. In a recent study, the cars were used for a different purpose—to measure local air quality. Air pollution in cities can change over short distances, meaning that the air quality and pollution on your street may be different from your neighbor who lives a few blocks away. Current fixed-site air pollution monitors used for regulation aren’t able to capture the variations in street level or hyperlocal level air quality. To address this research gap, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collaborated with the technology company, Aclima, on the company’s year-long study that equipped Google Street View cars with a mobile sensing platform to measure local air quality in the city of Oakland, California. Researchers found that the mobile air monitoring technology is effective in providing information on block-by-block urban air pollution patterns and could be used to inform future regulatory monitoring and air quality management decisions. EPA is working with Aclima as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to conduct research to advance measurement technologies.

Full article

Read Aclima’s news release and view their video