Clean air is critical to the environment and human health. As awareness on this important issue increases, communities are calling for action to improve air quality around the world and the United Nations General Assembly has designated 7 September as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The theme for this year’s International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” which emphasizes the health effects of air pollution, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Day aims to prioritize the need for healthy air while keeping conversations broad enough to encompass other critical issues such as climate change, human and planetary health as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. It serves as a rallying call to action to collectively align efforts and claim the right to clean air.
As a small business team with a focus on supporting green missions, Innovate understands the importance of clean air and we have supported several initiatives to help protect communities from poor air quality.
Innovate uses AirNow data – the biggest network of air sensors across the country – to monitor air quality across the Environmental Protection’s Agency (EPA) Region 9s servicing Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, and 148 Tribal Nations. Air Quality Index (AQI) values are received from monitoring sites that report to AirNow. AQI levels of health concern inform the population how clean or polluted the air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern. Innovate developed a custom notification system, leveraging email and MMS, to notify users (e.g., EPA Office of Air and Radiation) when the air quality dips below a certain threshold within their area of interests. Innovate also developed an ArcGIS Hub Site with embedded maps and statistics to provide useful information at-a-glance. In addition, we have developed custom widgets such as the Wind and Smoke for EPA’s Common Operating Picture (COP).
Another way Innovate helps with air quality is as a subcontractor to EPA for the National Air Toxic Assessment (NATA) web application. This application displays data about air quality and air quality monitors. Innovate built several widgets, two of them being custom widgets for this application (Change Symbology and Summary). The change symbology widget allows the user to the change symbology of data layers within the application including modifying classes, the number of classes and the field that the symbology is based on. The Summary tool allows the user to explore the statistics behind several of the data layers (Cancer Risk, Respiratory Hazard Index, and Ambient Concentrations) based on a user defined area. The statistics produced by this widget are dependent on the layer selected but include the number of features selected, minimum, maximum, average, and for the Cancer Risk data, Cancer Risk weighted by Population.
Innovate also currently supports as a subcontractor the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation’s Engines and Vehicles Compliance Information Systems (EV-CIS). EV-CIS collects emissions and fuel economy compliance information for all types of vehicles (mobile sources of air pollution) which includes light-duty, heavy-duty, nonroad engines and motorcycles. Engine and vehicle manufacturers report this information to the system.
Together, we can help improve our quality of air around the world. Healthy Air, Healthy Planet!