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Peace Bridge Study - Phase I Air Monitoring 2012

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) conducted air monitoring at the Peace Bridge from late August 2012 through mid-March 2013. The monitoring was designed to assess air local particulate matter concentrations prior to prospective renovations of the Peace Bridge Plaza, as well as after renovations.

Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation
Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation

Where did monitoring occur? DEC selected two monitoring locations. The first location was upwind of the Peace Bridge Plaza in the southwest corner of Front Park. The second location was 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 were monitored? Each location had equipment to continuously measure particle emissions from diesel vehicles - fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon. Black carbon is a primary aerosol component of diesel particulate matter. The filters used to collect PM2.5 were analyzed in the laboratory for the concentration of various elements (metals), including sulfur, by microscopic analysis at DEC's lab. A meteorological station was installed at the downwind monitoring site. All monitoring was conducted in accordance with all standard air monitoring protocols.

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

Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation
Typical Air Monitoring Instrumentation

When did monitoring occur? Monitoring took place for six months, from late August 2012 through mid-March 2013, prior to completion of the renovations at the Peace Bridge.

What involvement does the Public Bridge Authority (PBA) have in the air monitoring program? PBA agreed to provide equipment and to construct the air monitoring site infrastructure which met DEC specifications.

How can the public learn about the air monitoring results? DEC completed a report showing the results of this monitoring effort. Download the Interim Report: Phase 1 of the Air Quality Study of the Impact of the Peace Bridge Plaza on the Surrounding Neighborhood (PDF 1.1 mb, 21 pgs)

By the Numbers:

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

Site Locations

Location of monitoring sites for the Peace Bridge study

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