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EPA Awards Over $600,000 to the City of Houston for Air Toxics Monitoring Project

Release Date: 07/15/2008
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or

(Dallas, Texas – July 15, 2008) The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $643,112 to the City of Houston for measurement and analysis of volatile organic compound (VOC) air toxics emissions in the Houston Ship Channel area using DIAL (Differential Absorption LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)) technology. DIAL uses laser light in conjunction with the unique chemical properties of ambient air pollutants to identify and quantify specific VOC concentrations through large air masses with a working range of over one kilometer. DIAL has the ability to identify and measure multiple air contaminants in a single measurement. DIAL sampling is expected to take place from January to April 2009, with a final project report expected in June 2009. The results of the DIAL measurements will be used to identify previously unknown or underestimated emissions sources, validate emissions estimates and help prioritize potential emissions reduction opportunities. EPA had previously awarded a $500,000 grant to Houston for a mobile ambient air monitoring laboratory which is currently in use. The grant for the DIAL project further demonstrates EPA’s support for data which Houston area stakeholders can consider in making decisions to achieve improved local air quality.

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