In 2008 and 2009, the City of Houston published an Emissions Reduction Plan that has driven much of the City’s current energy efficiency and renewable energy activity.
Measuring Pollutants in Neighborhoods near Petrochemical Facilities
HARC is working to help local communities improve air quality and quality of life. HARC is partnering with the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) to train community members living near petrochemical facilities to take measurements of air toxics using monitoring tools that are typically used by environmental regulatory enforcement agencies.
The project is lead by Alex Cuclis, Research Scientist in Air Emissions and Monitoring. Community members are being trained to use tools such as handheld photoionization detectors (PIDs) which have detection limits of about 3 parts per billion (ppb); Summa Canisters, which can be sent off for a standard air quality analysis known as TO-15 to provide accurate concentrations of specific volatile organic compounds, like benzene and toluene; and particulate matter (PM) 2.5 monitors that are approved by EPA as a Federal Reference Method (FRM).
Each of these tools brings an added level of sophistication and improved accuracy to community air toxics monitoring efforts. HARC’s participation in this project will help to ensure success by making sure that the testing is performed with the appropriate quality assurance and quality controls in place as well as all of the necessary documentation.