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New Air Monitor in Louisville Will Measure Vehicle Pollution


Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District is moving forward with plans to place an air monitor near the Watterson Expressway. The monitor will measure concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, or “NOx.”The Air Pollution Control District has chosen a site for the monitor; it’s at 1517 Durrett Lane, right next to I-264, and slightly west of Poplar Level Road. Now, the district is just waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to approve the location.The city already has monitors to check for problems like ozone, or particulate matter. But air Pollution Control District spokesman Tom Nord says this monitor will serve a different purpose from the other ones around the city.“We’re fairly confident when we do our monitoring network, which is several monitors around the region, that we’re getting a good representation of air quality,” he said. “However, there’s growing concern about people who live close to what we call ‘hotspots.’Those hotspots are near highways, rail yards and airports, because NOx comes out of vehicle tailpipes. High levels of the pollutant have been linked to respiratory problems, such as asthma.Nord says it’s not likely that any of the measurements taken at the new monitor will cause Louisville to be out of compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards. And while NOx might be higher in some areas of the city, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dangerous. But measuring will give the city more data about what’s going on near transportation routes.The Air Pollution Control District will be required to have the monitor up and running by the end of this year.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.