We are measuring environmental parameters (air pollutant, noise, and greenness) before, during, and after large-scale planting. This data is used to assess the impact of greenness on air quality and noise, and to correlate changes in the health measurements taken as part of the HEAL Study.
Passive monitoring: We have installed 60 passive air samplers on utility poles throughout the neighborhoods, including near the interstate. Every two months, we collect one-week samples. The samples are analyzed in a laboratory to calculate airborne concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and ozone.
Baseline air quality data collection across the study area is complete. Two-week integrated passive sampling was conducted once every two months at 60 sites. Oxides of nitrogen (NOX, NO2, and NO) are the primary measurements because they serve as a surrogate for traffic emissions.
Real-time monitoring: Real-time monitors placed on a vehicle measure air quality along predetermined driving routes through the neighborhoods. This information is combined with the fixed-site data from the passive samplers to generate high-resolution maps for air quality.
For baseline measurements, ultrafine particle (UFP) number and black carbon (BC) mass concentrations were measured by repeatedly driving all public roads in the study area. Measurements were conducted on both weekdays and weekends, during the daytime and nighttime. Planting along the interstate will proceed in phases, and we will measure UFP and BC before and after each phase to evaluate the impact of planted vegetation on near-road air quality.
Passive monitoring: A smaller number of noise monitors are rotated across six sites in the neighborhoods to map noise levels. Satellite data and lidar (light detection and ranging) remote sensing are used to characterize the vegetation density before and after planting.