EPA awards $355K to Utah DEQ for air monitoring in Salt Lake City area

West Valley City effort to assess and reduce exposure to hazardous air pollutants

Denver, Colo. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) a $355,000 grant to conduct air toxics monitoring and evaluate population exposure in West Valley City, a community located on the west side of the Salt Lake valley. The grant, awarded through EPA’s Community Air Toxics Monitoring program, is among $4,000,000 provided to more than a dozen projects through a national competition.

UDEQ will use the EPA grant to leverage and complement ongoing research funded by the Utah State legislature on hazardous air pollutants across the greater Salt Lake urban area. The study will include researchers from UDEQ, Brigham Young University and the University of Minnesota. State-of-the-art monitoring equipment will measure a wide suite of organic compounds in the gas and particulate phase such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. This will provide real-time data during winter and summer sampling events which will help assess conditions and inform effective control strategies to reduce exposure in the area.

“Understanding local air quality conditions is a fundamental step in developing measures to improve public health,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver. “West Valley City is an area where emissions from industry, highways, the airport, and winter inversions combine to create exposure concerns for the local community. The data generated by this project will be critical to understanding and reducing health impacts from hazardous air pollutants in the area.”

“This study will provide a comprehensive data set of organic compounds that is currently not available,” said Patrick Barickman, Environmental Program Manager at UDEQ. “Because of this level of detail, these measurements will help us to characterize the potential sources of these pollutants in the urban area.”

EPA’s Community Air Toxics Monitoring grants support projects that assist state, local and tribal communities in identifying and profiling air toxics sources, characterizing the degree and extent of local air toxics problems, and tracking progress of air toxics reduction activities. Expected outcomes of these projects are increased state, local and tribal agency ability to characterize the sources and local-scale distribution of hazardous air pollutants, and assess human exposure and risk. These increased capabilities are expected to increase public and industry awareness and actions to adopt control measures that reduce emissions and public exposure.

For more information visit: http://www3.epa.gov/ttnamti1/local.html

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