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Imperial County Community Air Monitoring Project

This innovative project established the first large-scale community air monitoring network of its kind, serving as a model for projects throughout California and informing the implementation of statewide legislation on community air monitoring.

In Imperial County, CA where particulate pollution often exceeds state standards for more than six months at a time, and children have among the highest rates of asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state, the availability of real-time, local air quality information can be a life or death issue.

In response, Tracking California worked with partners (Comite Civico del Valle, University of Washington, and others) and local residents to establish a community air monitoring network of 40 particulate matter (PM) monitors.

The real-time air monitoring data are now available online through the Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods (IVAN) Air network and are being used by schools, residents, and agencies to understand and reduce exposures to air pollution. Data from the network have also been used to conduct spatial analysis to identify patterns of PM pollution within Imperial County.

The lessons learned from this project are described in our Guidebook for Developing a Community Air Monitoring Network below and also informed the implementation of AB 617 as well as our community air monitoring technical assistance work.

Key Project Information

Project Time Period

2013 - 2018

Project Funder

This project was funded by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Research to Action program (R01ES022722).

Project Partners

Technical Consultants

  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • George Washington University

Project Contact

For more information, please contact

Project Materials

Project Publications

  1. The Imperial County Community Air Monitoring Network: A Model for Community-based Environmental Monitoring for Public Health Action [2017] Paul English, Luis Olmedo, Esther Bejarano, Humberto Lugo, Eduardo Murillo, Edmund Seto, Michelle Wong, Galatea King, Alexa Wilkie, Dan Meltzer, Graeme Carvlin, Michael Jerrett, Amanda Northcross
  2. Combining Community Engagement and Scientific Approaches in Next-Generation Monitor Siting: The Case of the Imperial County Community Air Network [2018] Michelle Wong, Esther Bejarano, Graeme Carvlin, Katie Fellows, Galatea King, Humberto Lugo, Michael Jerrett, Dan Meltzer, Amanda Northcross, Luis Olmedo, Edmund Seto, Alexa Wilkie, Paul English
  3. Development and field validation of a community-engaged particulate matter air quality monitoring network in Imperial, California, USA [2017] Graeme Carvlin, Humberto Lugo, Luis Olmedo, Esther Bejarano, Alexa Wilkie, Dan Meltzer, Michelle Wong, Galatea King, Amanda Northcross, Michael Jerrett, Paul English, Donald Hammond, Edmund Seto
  4. From Crowdsourcing to Extreme Citizen Science: Participatory Research for Environmental Health [2018] Paul English, Max Richardson, Catalina Garzón-Galvis
  5. Advancing Environmental Health Literacy Through Community-Engaged Research and Popular Education [2018] Catalina Garzón-Galvis, Michelle Wong, Daniel Madrigal, Luis Olmedo, Melissa Brown, Paul English
  6. Next-Generation Community Air Quality Sensors for Identifying Air Pollution Episodes [2019] Edmund Seto, Graeme Carvlin, Elena Austin, Jeffry Shirai, Esther Bejarano, Humberto Lugo, Luis Olmedo, Astrid Calderas, Michael Jerrett, Galatea King, Dan Meltzer, Alexa Wilkie, Michelle Wong, Paul English
  7. Performance of a Low-Cost Sensor Community Air Monitoring Network in Imperial County, CA [2020] Paul English, Heather Amato, Esther Bejarano, Graeme Carvlin, Humberto Lugo, Michael Jerrett, Galatea King, Daniel Madrigal, Dan Meltzer, Amanda Northcross, Luis Olmedo, Edmund Seto, Christian Torres, Alexa Wilkie, Michelle Wong
  8. Developing Youth Environmental Health Literacy and Civic Leadership through Community Air Monitoring in Imperial County, California [2020] Daniel Madrigal, Mariana Claustro, Michelle Wong, Esther Bejarano, Luis Olmedo, Paul English
  9. Community-Engaged Air Monitoring to Build Resilience Near the US-Mexico Border [2020] Michelle Wong, Alexa Wilkie, Catalina Garzón-Galvis, Galatea King, Luis Olmedo, Esther Bejarano, Humberto Lugo, Dan Meltzer, Daniel Madrigal, Mariana Claustro, Paul English

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