Assessing Air Quality in Lambert’s Point and Southeast Newport News: The TAME Project by VDEQ

2023-09-09 18:14:30

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) is launching the Tidewater Air Monitoring Assessment (TAME) Project to assess air quality in two historically impacted communities in Hampton Roads. The communities of Lambert’s Point in Norfolk and the southeast community of Newport News have had long-standing concerns about the proximity of coal terminals and associated coal dust.

TAME, a project funded by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant, aims to address these concerns by analyzing and monitoring air quality in these communities. VDEQ will install shed-like terminals, equipped with filtration systems, to collect air samples and information. The information collected will be transmitted back to the VDEQ headquarters in Richmond using Wi-Fi.

Grace Holmes, the Tidewater environmental justice coordinator for VDEQ, emphasizes community involvement in the project. Purple air sensors, which provide real-time data, are available to Lambert’s Point and Southeast Newport News residents. This data will also be accessible by VDEQ. Additionally, the air quality data collected, along with input from health experts, will be used to produce health risk assessments in both communities.

While a 2017 study from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) suggested that coal dust from nearby railroads did not significantly affect health at Lambert’s Point, it recognized variability in the effects of coal dust on different individuals depending on their age. , lifestyle and health status. Norfolk Southern, the company that operates the railroads, supports the additional data collection and believes it will confirm the findings of the 2017 study.

However, residents like Keith Moore, who has lived in Lambert’s Point for more than 70 years, remain concerned about the potential health risks associated with exposure to coal dust. They consider that more protective measures should be implemented to guarantee the well-being of the community.

Overall, the TAME project aims to address long-standing air quality concerns in Lambert’s Point and Southeast Newport News by collecting comprehensive data and engaging the community in the monitoring process. Recognizes the importance of evaluating potential health risks associated with exposure to coal dust and providing accurate information to residents and health experts.

Fuentes:
– Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)
– Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
– Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
– Norfolk Southern

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