Albuquerque unveils air quality monitoring trailer

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ALBUQUERQUE N.M. – While Albuquerque has five stationary stations around the city to measure air quality – on Thursday, the city’s Environmental Health Department unveiled an air quality monitoring trailer.

“Not all neighborhoods benefit from air quality the same," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. "It’s an equity issue in our community because of the nature of us living in a valley, and we know that air quality can be great up in the heights or out on the West Side and can be not as good in the valley. Depending on wind patterns, it can theoretically be the opposite, so we have to have some way to measure air quality on a neighborhood basis."

On Thursday, Keller and the city’s air quality program unveiled the first and only air quality monitoring trailer. it will collect localized air quality data all over the metro area.

“The equipment will not only measure the criteria pollutants but also pollution from diesel exhaust and wood-burning as well 75 hazardous air pollutants. which are volatile organic compounds or VOC’s” said Mara Elana Burstein, the city’s environmental health director.

The trailer will be parked in different neighborhoods to collect this data especially those with concerns about air pollution. The San Jose neighborhood was chosen to be the first.

“We are hopeful that we are able to gain the support needed to better our community and not only improve the health concerns that we are facing due to the pollution in the air but also open a door to be able to better our neighborhood,” said Deanna Barela, the San Jose Neighborhood Association president.

In order to collect accurate data, the trailer must be parked in one place for at least 12 months. After that, it will be assessed if the trailer should continue to be parked there or go elsewhere.