Beginning June 2017, the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition (CBC) will be working with residents and researchers at the University of Michigan to monitor air quality in Southwest Detroit along the I-75 Freeway. By understanding how diesel pollution  affects air quality conditions in neighborhoods near the freeway, CBC will be better able to advocate for air quality protections for residents, and to compare air quality conditions before and after the bridge is built. 

Pollutants that will be monitored are particulate matter (PM) and black carbon. PM consists of solid particles finer than 10 microns, or about 10 times finer than a human hair; CBC will be monitoring PM2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 microns across. Black carbon is a subset of PM that results from combustion and can be used as an indicator of diesel pollution.

Four monitors measuring PM2.5 will soon be installed at sites along I-75, and will collect data for at least one year. Meanwhile, CBC’s air monitoring team will work with participating residents monitor black carbon at homes within 500 feet of the freeway, for 48 hours each.

Today, the air monitoring team installed all seven monitors at an MDEQ site in Dearborn, to ensure the equipment is functioning well before deployment. They are hoping for a break from the rain!