News Release 652

Department awards subgrant for oversight of air toxics monitoring in the St. Louis area

Volume 38-652 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 16, 2010 – The Department of Natural Resources has awarded the St. Louis City Air Pollution Control Program a subgrant to fund further oversight of the Blair Street air monitoring site in the St. Louis area. St. Louis city staff will use the $17,740 award to continue oversight of the sampling of toxic metals, volatile organics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at Blair Street for fiscal year 2011. This monitoring will allow for the continued collection of data to better understand the behavior of air toxics.

The Blair Street monitoring site is one of 23 nationwide sites that are collecting this data. Measurements of key toxic air pollutants in certain areas of the nation are needed to provide a basic measure of air quality differences across cities and regions over time. These measurements of air quality trends provide feedback to federal, state and local agencies on the effectiveness of their efforts to deal with air toxics. This knowledge can also be used to develop emission control strategies and to help evaluate if air pollutant levels could cause health issues to residents.

“These monitors help us understand what is in the air that people are breathing,” said Kip Stetzler, acting director of the Department of Natural Resources. “The more we learn about how pollutants behave in the air, the better equipped we are to continue working to improve air quality and, in turn, public health.”

The project is a continuation of the Community Air Project in St. Louis. The sampling will be conducted every sixth day on the national sampling schedule. Overall project planning, field measurement and data analysis will be conducted by the department with St. Louis City staff overseeing the monitoring station.

Data for this nation wide program is included in the Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Database, available online from epa.gov/oar/data/.

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