Air Quality Monitoring Project

The South Ward Environmental Alliance (SWEA), an environmental justice community-based organization, invited residents and facilities to participate in an innovative public health research project to identify air pollution risks faced by Newark community members. We also held Green Alliance Leadership Academy workshops for residents interested in this project.

We mainly asked sites that are in air pollutant hotspots to host a monitoring device. We have 10 confirmed locations.

The Green Alliance Leadership Academy Workshops were held in September(6 days, 2 hr sessions). Presentations were from Clean Water Action and members of the Ceter for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH). In these sessions, residents:

● Learned how NJ's municipal land use (zoning) rules influence what your neighborhood looks like. Know when and how to engage with Newark's Planning and Zoning Boards more effectively.

● Learned how to design a campaign, frame demands on a petition, write and give a 3-minute speech, lobby and engage decision makers.

● Learned the Community-Based Participatory Research framework.

● Receive a demonstration of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Screening Tool that uses mapping to find and visualize environmental hazards near and within concerned communities.

● Learned how low-cost air quality sensors can be used to detect and monitor air pollution levels in your area--and how the resulting data can be used for policy action, remediation, and future economic investment. The collocation process also started in September. SWEA worked with the DEP to collocate 13 air monitors. The second collocation process started in October and once that is finished, the devices will be ready to be disbursed at confirmed host sites in Newark’s South Ward.

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