As one of the most heavily polluted U.S. metropolitan areas with lax land-use policies and sprawling residential development, Houston has many industrial and transportation-related air pollution sources located in close proximity to communities. The current public monitoring network has been designed with the intent of determining compliance with federal air quality standards. It is therefore largely inadequate for identifying localized sources of air pollution that could put residents’ health at risk on a daily basis. Equipped with hyperlocal air pollution data, residents and policymakers can better identify, remediate and prevent pollution sources and their associated health risks in communities.
What we’re doing
Since 2020 we have partnered with myriad Houston communities, including Sunnyside, Fifth Ward, and OST-South Union, to cruise their neighborhoods on bicycles with personal Flow 2 air quality monitors to bring attention to local air pollution. The data collected during these rides have been insightful, and we are working on expanding this citizen-scientist research with a focus on additional environmental justice communities.
Our aim is to help empower residents with air pollution monitoring technology which will inform, educate, and help mobilize advocates to influence public policies that improve air quality — ensuring clean air for all Houstonians.