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Peace Bridge Air Study

Site Address: Peace Bridge, Buffalo, Erie County

Fact Sheet August 2012
Peace Bridge Update: DEC Conducting Air Monitoring for One Year

Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation
Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will conduct air monitoring at the Peace Bridge to assess local air quality. The monitoring is designed to assess air local particulate matter concentrations prior to prospective renovations of the Peace Bridge plaza, as well as after renovations.

Where will monitoring occur? DEC has selected two monitoring locations. The first location is upwind of the Peace Bridge plaza in the Southwest corner of Front Park. The second location is downwind of the Peace Bridge plaza in the open lot on the corner of Busti Avenue and Vermont Street. See Site Locations for an aerial map of each monitoring location.

What air pollutants will be monitored? Each location will have equipment to continuously measure fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon. Black carbon is a primary aerosol component of Diesel Particulate Matter and will be characterized through chemical speciation or microscopic analysis. Each location will also collect 24 hour PM2.5 filter samples once every 6 days. These filters will be analyzed in a laboratory for particulate weight and the concentration of various elements (metals), including sulfur. The filters will also undergo microscopic analysis at DEC's lab. A meteorological station will be installed at the downwind monitoring site. All monitoring will be conducted in accordance with all standard air monitoring protocols.

How will the results be interpreted? The PM2.5 data will be compared to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and examined to determine if there is a gradient between the upwind and downwind locations. Black Carbon is a good indicator of local motor vehicle emissions and this data in combination with the meteorological data will be examined to determine if the Peace Bridge Plaza is contributing to local PM2.5 concentrations. The elemental and microscopic analyses will help identify the sources of PM2.5 at these locations.

Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation
Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation

When will monitoring occur? Monitoring will take place for six months prior to prospective renovations of the Peace Bridge plaza and again for six months after renovations are complete. DEC expects to begin monitoring by the end of August 2012.

What involvement does the Public Bridge Authority (PBA) have in the air monitoring program? PBA has agreed to provide equipment and construct air monitoring site infrastructure meeting DEC specifications. Soon, citizens in the area will see construction activity at the two sites. Once PBA completes construction and electricity installation at the monitoring sites, DEC will install and begin operating the air pollution monitors.

How will the public be informed of the air monitoring results? DEC will automatically post data received from the continuously operating PM2.5, black carbon, and meteorological equipment to DEC's website. Other air quality data will be posted to the website as laboratory results are received. When each six month monitoring program ends, DEC will produce a report explaining the results of each air monitoring effort. This report will be placed on the DEC website and shared with the community.

By the Numbers:

2 - # of air monitoring locations
6 months - length of air monitoring before and after renovations

Who to Contact

Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project Related Questions:

Al Carlacci
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo NY 14203


Brian Lay
625 Broadway
Albany NY 12233

Site Locations

Monitoring Location 1: Southwest corner of Front Park, upwind
Monitoring Location 1: Southwest corner of Front Park, upwind
Monitoring Location 2: Corner of Vermont Street and Busti Avenue, downwind
Monitoring Location 2: Corner of Vermont Street and
Busti Avenue, downwind

More about Peace Bridge Air Study:

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  • Division of Air Resources
    Bureau of Air Quality Surveillance
    625 Broadway
    Albany NY 12233-3256
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