The Town of Erie announces launch of air monitoring network and real-time public dashboard
The Town of Erie is pleased to announce the launch of a public data portal to view data collected by the air quality monitoring stations operated by Ajax Analytics and Colorado State University (CSU). The stations were deployed in phases between July 6 and Aug. 17 near oil and gas well pads and in adjacent neighborhoods as part of the Town’s Air Quality Monitoring Program. A map of the monitoring station locations is available on the Town’s website.
The Ajax/CSU monitoring network, which consists of 10 real-time monitoring station locations, measures Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), Particulate Matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and meteorological data. The real-time and previously collected data are available at www.ajax-analytics.com/erie.
Each sensor system is equipped with a triggering box. When the trigger is activated, it opens a valve to collect a sample of air. This trigger happens when the TVOC indicator reaches a certain threshold. Additionally, four sites collect continuous 7-day duration, whole-air canister samples.
Additional canisters are also available for one-off sample collection by staff or residents. These canisters are available for pick-up at Town Hall and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Canister samples are analyzed by the lab at the Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science using gas chromatography. The canister analysis measures 47 different VOC compounds plus methane and ethane. Canister sample reports are available for viewing at www.ajax-analytics.com/erie-event-reports.
“We are happy to be partners on this project with the Town of Erie and Ajax Analytics,” said CSU Atmospheric Science Professor Jeff Collett. “Data collection and analysis is the best way to address current or future questions about environmental and personal impacts from air quality changes associated with oil and gas operations and other sources in Erie. We are looking forward to assessing findings from this expanded monitoring effort.”
Erie is experiencing exceptional community growth and maintains a strong vision toward creating a high quality of life for residents. Air quality monitoring is especially critical as Erie currently has 138 active oil and gas wells throughout the Town limits in addition to a regional landfill. The monitoring stations near these sites are intended to capture readings of emissions prior to dissipation as those emissions travel farther from the source. This should help staff to determine if substantial emissions are present and potentially moving into residential areas. If an illegal release of emissions is found to have occurred, citation or further legal action will be considered. Although the data from this system is carefully monitored and shared as necessary with emergency responders, this system is not intended to be an emergency response protocol nor an acute exposure warning system.
“Collaboration with CSU and Ajax is a game changer for Erie,” said Energy & Environmental Program Specialist David Frank. “We know that collecting data will help us to make informed decisions in the future and working with two reputable teams who have implemented similar services in the region is going to help immensely.”
There are currently air quality monitoring systems installed and in different phases of data collection in nearby communities like Broomfield, Longmont, and some areas of Boulder County and Weld County. These systems in Erie will add to the overall picture of air quality in our surrounding region.
To request an air sampling canister or more information, contact David Frank, Energy & Environmental Program Specialist, at email@example.com or 303-926-2716.