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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Installing Air Monitoring Stations at Memphis Area Transit Facilities

Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (mcdonald.jason@epa.gov)
404-562-9203, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces a collaborative project with the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) and the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) that is field testing newly installed, lower-cost air pollution sensor pods in the Memphis, Tennessee area.  Air sensor pods have been installed at sixteen locations including seven SCHD locations and three MATA transit facilities. 

EPA's CitySpace research project is field testing these air sensor monitors to understand how this emerging technology can add valuable information on air pollution patterns in neighborhoods. The sensors are being installed and data will be captured over a six month period concluding in February 2017.

“The knowledge we gain from the monitoring project will help to advance the use of these lower-cost and portable sensors in communities to learn more about air quality. We have received support and interest from Memphis residents and organizations in this project and we plan to keep the community informed about progress and results,” said Ron Williams, EPA researcher leading the development of the sensor technology being deployed.

“The Shelby County Health Department has a long-standing relationship with MATA and look forward to this new initiative to improve the air quality and environment for the community,” says Alisa Haushalter, DNP, RN, director of the Shelby County Health Department. “Good air quality is an important part of our everyday health. Helping EPA test new air monitoring equipment in Memphis will assist in informing the community about air quality and what we can do to improve it.”

John Lancaster, Director of Planning and Scheduling at MATA, agrees: “As a public transportation provider, MATA is concerned about helping assist with the reduction of air pollution in the Memphis area. This project coincides with MATA’s efforts and we view the installations of the air pollution sensor pods as another way to help improve air quality in the neighborhoods we serve.”

Seven pods were installed at active or historical air monitoring sites operated by SCHD. Two additional sensor pods will be installed at separate locations during the month of November. Sensor locations were selected based upon input from community members, local county and state organizations, predicted air pollution patterns, and by comparing sensor readings with higher-quality data from air monitors currently being used. Results from the study will be used to provide the Memphis community and scientific community a greater understanding of local air pollutant patterns.

Each monitor collects data that includes particulate matter (PM), temperature, humidity, and wind. Data will be recorded each minute and transmitted wirelessly to EPA. The sensor pods are intended to complement existing monitoring networks that will allow local air pollution patterns to be explored.

More information on the CitySpace research project can be found at:​

Learn more about air sensor technology at:

Social Media: #CitySpaceMemphis