EPA: Deliberating Performance Targets for Air Quality Sensors

Jun 27, 2018

An opportunity to improve community awareness and action on air quality

Clean Air Carolina 2018 summer interns attend EPA sensor workshop.On June 25 and 26, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held the Deliberating Performance Targets for Air Quality Sensors workshop/webinar. The two-day conference brought together stakeholders including air sensor manufacturers, researchers, advocacy groups and citizen scientists to discuss current applications of air quality monitors and to move the field forward. In the last few years, there has been a rapid increase of low-cost air monitoring sensors on the market. Researchers, state and local government agencies, Tribal nations, and citizen scientists are using them in a variety of monitoring and data collection purposes. This workshop is an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss their perspectives on the non-regulatory performance targets for low-cost sensors measuring fine particulate matter and ozone.

Participants considered several common challenges in the utilization of low-cost air sensors, including conducting scientifically sound citizen science and effectively relaying this data collected to the public.

We “need to educate the users on how to use [air sensors] and how to use data,” said Paul Fransioli a meteorologist at the Clark County Department of Air Quality in Nevada and workshop panelist.

A Leader in Citizen Science and Data Communication

Clean Air Carolina is providing citizens with the resources and support needed to use low-cost air sensors. Through our AirKeepers Program, citizens are able to be informed about their community’s air quality and can to advocate to improve it. We ensure this by making the data collected from our 70 air sensors in 38 counties free and readily available to the public. The 2018 NC BREATHE Conference Report and Recommendations notes the significance of communicating data and information to key stakeholders, such as community members and policymakers.