Above is a map of the particulate matter concentrations taken during the River Wards Environment Tour in May. (Below is a brief description for each site on the map). Pete DeCarlo and atmospheric chemist from Drexel University brought along his monitor and collected observations on four different sizes of particulate matter. This is the resulting map for our PM 2.5 observations, and though it was made using only brief measurements it can tell us a few things about air quality in the River Wards:
First, nowhere in this map meets the qualifications for “good” air quality according to the Air Quality Index. This isn’t surprising for a city, no less an industrial area inside of a city, but that is our point. Measurements were taken on a normal day with the usual amount of construction, bustle, etc.
Second, the map confirms many of the environmental concerns already voiced by neighborhood residents. Scrapyards to the west and pockets of asphalt recycling across both neighborhoods make an appearance on the map, each surrounded by larger circles hitting the red and even purple marks on the AQI scale.
The tour was a great success and we look forward to sharing more of the River Wards’ environmental landscape in the future. We will also be working with some of our local regulatory agencies to ensure that these dirty spots on the map are appropriately cleaned up. Thanks for everyone’s hard work, particularly our community researchers who put the time in to help research the sites for the tour.
APPENDIX i: TOUR SWAG (right click, save link as)