Evaluating the Impacts of Energy Options on Baltimore’s Air Quality
Kirsten Koehler and her team are working with researchers at Yale University on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded Solutions for Energy, Air, Climate, and Health (SEARCH) center to evaluate how energy transitions impact local air quality and health. The team is evaluating how low-cost sensor technology can be used to evaluate neighborhood level variability in pollutant and greenhouse gas concentrations. A major focus of this project is to quantify the accuracy, precision, and calibration requirements for a low-cost network. To understand these processes at high spatiotemporal resolution and their implications for air quality and personal exposure, we built custom, low-cost air quality monitors that measure concentrations of contaminants relevant to human health and climate, including gases (O3, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, and CH4) and particulate matter and have deployed about ~45 units around the city of Baltimore since 2019. Koehler and her lab is using this network data to evaluate spatial and temporal patterns in air pollution exposures and to understand the role of important sources in the region on the variability observed.