Houston residents are fighting to get their own air quality monitoring park benches. (Courtesy of Village Green Project)
According to a newscast from Houston’s CW39 TV, air quality monitoring information could be available to Houston residents soon if a solar-powered park bench backed by the U.S. EPA is installed in the city. Such air quality information could be especially useful in Houston, as the city ranks sixth in ozone pollution in the U.S.
The solar-powered benches are instruments of the EPA’s Village Green Project that makes airborne pollutant information available to local residents of cities with noteworthy pollution, including Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The park benches monitor ozone and particulate matter levels and cost about $30,000 apiece.
The cost of a bench seems high, but it would provide a way for Houston’s citizens to interact with air quality data in a meaningful way. Conflict over how to pay for the bench has arisen, with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality refusing to support the project. A crowdfunding project has been started to bring the solar-powered bench to Houston, with Houstonia magazine contributing seed money to get the GoFundMe campaign going.
Top image: Houston residents are fighting to get their own air quality monitoring park benches. (Courtesy of Village Green Project)