To better understand how hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) impact Environmental Justice (EJ) and non-EJ communities in Sacramento, California, SMAQMD retained STI to design and conduct an air quality monitoring campaign. The goal was to explain the concentrations of HAPs throughout Sacramento, how smoke from residential wood burning contributes to air pollution, and if EJ communities are disproportionately impacted by this pollution.
To answer these questions, STI conducted an intensive measurement campaign in the winter 2016-17 season and monitored HAPs, wood smoke markers, and black carbon. STI analyzed the collected data to quantify the inter-community variation of air pollutant concentrations and better understand the relationship of these pollutants to wood burning behavior. To understand the relationship between HAPs and particulate matter (PM), STI deployed low-cost sensors to measure PM in EJ and non-EJ communities, and assessed how these sensors compared to traditional monitors. The project was designed to help SMAQMD’s air quality outreach program reduce HAPs throughout Sacramento and especially in EJ areas.