TR News Article: Near-Road Air Quality - Insights from a U.S. DOT Five-Year Transportation Pooled Fund Study
A summary of the TPF’s major findings was published by the U.S. Transportation Research Board’s TR News Magazine. TR News Magazine is copyright by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; posted with permission of the Transportation Research Board.
The abstract of the article is below.
Pollutants directly emitted by vehicles—from exhaust, wear from brake pads and tires, or dust from disturbing the road surface—are of special concern in areas adjacent to heavily traveled roads. Examples of pollutants of concern are the soot emitted from diesel vehicle exhaust, often referred to as diesel particulate matter (PM), oxides of nitrogen (NO and NO2), and toxics such as benzene. Near-road air quality is of particular concern given the growing awareness of the need to address environmental justice issues. Communities near heavily traveled roads are often more economically disadvantaged and have a higher proportion of minority residents than communities in other settings.
In recognition of the importance of addressing near-road air pollution, the TPF’s eight state and federal agencies pooled their research efforts on the topic. With Sonoma Technology’s support, the TPF obtained and evaluated an unprecedented amount of near-road air quality data from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-mandated near-road air quality measurement sites located next to major highways across the United States.
Sonoma Technology researchers completed national-scale assessments, case studies of various metropolitan areas, comparisons of modeled and measured air quality, mitigation assessments, and other work documented in six peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous reports and conference presentations. The March-April 2021 edition of TR News featured a digest of the TPF’s overall work effort and findings.