Edgewater Tracking Air Quality to Benefit Public Health

In Fall 2023, the City of Edgewater partnered with the Jefferson County Public Health department on the Jefferson County Love My Air program (JCLMA), a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant-funded initiative giving local communities the ability to monitor and address their own air quality. 

Edgewater hosts three out of ten high-quality, solar-powered, Node S air monitors strategically placed throughout Jefferson County. The monitors provide real-time measurements on particulate matter (PM2.5), a harmful pollutant known to cause various, sometimes severe respiratory, heart, and developmental health problems. The measurements are made available to the public on easy-to-understand, online dashboards found on JCPH’s Love My Air regional dashboard. Dashboards unique to each monitor site provide rolling, 30-minute PM2.5 level averages that reflect air quality changes throughout the day and provide behavior recommendations accordingly. Recommendations range from Good: It’s a great day to be active outside, to Hazardous: People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.  

Edgewater’s monitors are located at the Edgewater Collective, Edgewater Civic Center and Jefferson Junior/Senior High School. Arvada, Wheatridge, Golden and Lakewood are also participating in the JLMA program. Representatives from each municipality make up a network of community members and local government personnel that meet quarterly as a host site committee to discuss and support the project’s objectives. They coordinate to improve the health and air quality of their communities by working on implementation of educational initiatives as well as enabling data exchange for analysis and development of continued programming. Additionally, Jefferson County Public Health staff support partners by providing public training and education through formal presentations on the project. 

Madison Pitts, Supervisor of Environmental Health Services, and James Rada, Director of Environmental Health Services at Jefferson County Public Health, presented on JCLMA to Edgewater’s City Council on May 21. Experts in the realms of environmental health and policy, they explained the goals of the JLMA program, the dangers of PM2.5 and how to mitigate them, and how the project empowers communities to take monitoring and protective measures into their own hands.

Going forward, JCLMA will continue to provide community education and implement pollution reduction initiatives. Their advocacy campaigns will be informed by neighborhood feedback and supported by community-based organizations. Find up-to-date information on Edgewater’s involvement with JLMA on the City’s Sustainable Education and Resources page. 


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