The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment will partner with public and private researchers in 2020 to begin a “targeted, multi-year effort to better understand and identify the sources of air pollution” in Denver, health officials announced Monday.
New technology will be deployed to identify pollutants, such as black carbon, soot and volatile organic compounds. The initiative will also include additional data analysis and more detailed tracking of odor complaints, to better discern mobile versus industrial sources contributing to air pollution, officials said.
The effort will focus on North Denver because of the area’s industrial air pollution emissions and significant construction projects, officials said.
Denver Department of Public Health & Environment is building on work started in 2019 to increase air monitoring through the initiative Love My Air Denver, which is funded through 2021 via the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayor’s Challenge. The Love My Air program focuses on increasing the monitoring of fine particulate matter at or near schools through a partnership with Denver Public Schools. These efforts will also be expanded in 2020 to include additional locations and to evaluate more pollutants, officials said.
While Denver Department of Public Health & Environment will increase the locations for measuring air quality in 2020, officials explained that monitors and sensors can’t be deployed everywhere. Using air quality models and tools developed by university research partners, the department will “fill in the gaps between monitors and sensors using real-world monitoring data,” officials said. The department will also develop a user-friendly interface to make sure that the data is accessible to the public. In the interim, the department will provide data summary reports through its website and other public communication channels, officials said.