Monthly Archives: November 2012

Project planning cards for engineering the future in/of the field.

Earlier in the summer, Clean Air Council worked with Port Richmond residents and our academic partners to collect data on the concentration of black carbon in the neighborhood. Climbing up 12 ft ladders in the dead heat of Philadelphia summer, we put up monitors on homes, businesses, schools, and parks around Port Richmond and collected air quality data for four weeks.

Air monitoring fieldwork takes a huge effort on the part of all our researchers: scheduling pick-ups, climbing buildings, asking permission, leaving home, building equipment in the field, filling out forms, etc. But our fieldwork doesn’t stop at monitoring… Read More


Trucks heading south on I-95 passing Port Richmond, leaving a trail of exhaust along the way


Next week Michelle Kondo, a member of the air quality research team at portrichmondAIR, will be presenting some of the findings from our most recent air quality monitoring deployment at the November meeting of the Philadelphia Diesel Difference Working Group. The working group consists of air quality experts, local policy makers, and regional air quality advocates, and we’re looking forward to getting the word out about our air research in Philly. The details are below. E-mail Chris at cmizes(at) if you are interested in attending.

“Scattered fixed-site measurements of black carbon concentrations in a port neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA”

10:00 AM Monday, November 19th
DVRPC: 190 North Independence Mall West, 8th Floor

Communities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, such as Port Richmond, are host to goods movement industry. While these industries provide a vital source of employment and revenues for urban communities, port-related goods movement can pose health consequences for adjacent communities and surrounding regions. Exposure to particles and gases from diesel truck traffic in particular is associated with increased incidence of asthma and respiratory infections among other health outcomes.

In Port Richmond in 2010, 26% of children and 23% of adults suffered from asthma. At present, it is not possible to assess whether elevated asthma levels are related to air pollution. Air Management Services currently monitors air pollution in Philadelphia at just 10 sites, and this data cannot detect variation in pollution levels at the neighborhood, street, or individual level even though these differences could have a meaningful impact on health. Neighborhood-scale monitoring is an effective way to determine the spatial patterns of pollutant concentrations throughout a neighborhood and identify pollution sources.

Dr. Kondo will describe a study to characterize spatial and temporal variation in concentrations of black carbon (BC) in Port Richmond, and its relationship to expected sources such as truck traffic using outdoor stationary monitoring over a 4-week period during the summer of 2012. Preliminary results show elevated BC concentrations closer to diesel traffic routes, and in morning hours. This study represents a collaborative effort between Port Richmond residents, Clean Air Council, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University (with assistance from DVRPC and Philadelphia’s Air Management Services).