New air pollution monitor installed at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry
By Javier Fernandez
The air pollution monitor is the size of a small dorm refrigerator.
A small ribbon cutting ceremony was held atop the rooftop of the old pedestrian building at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) on February 3rd to celebrate the installation of a new air pollution monitoring system. The $124,000 project is a result of a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD) in collaboration with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other regional stakeholders. The San Ysidro LPOE, located along the U.S. - Mexico border in San Diego, is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, with 50,000 cars and buses and 25,000 pedestrians crossing every day.
“Air pollution knows no boundaries. The goal is to protect our communities near the border through a better understanding of the soot that may be affecting San Ysidro, whether from tailpipe emissions or wood smoke,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
County Supervisor Greg Cox also added, “This air pollution monitor will allow us to track San Ysidro’s air quality and craft solutions to improve the air that local residents breathe.”
The air pollution monitor is the size of a small dorm refrigerator and will provide real-time data on the amount of particulate matter in the air less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5). PM 2.5 can result in negative health effects when inhaled. Over the course of the next two years, the air pollution monitor will gather data that will be tracked and posted on the SDAPCD website. Once analyzed, this data will help the EPA and the County better understand air pollution challenges in the region and will be used to develop ideas to mitigate its impact on the community and traveling public.
Speakers at the event included: EPA Regional Administrator, Jared Blumenfeld; San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Greg Cox; Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Matt Rodriguez; and Chief of the California Air Resources Board Monitoring and Laboratory Division, Michael Benjamin.