Our approach to monitoring air quality puts citizens in charge by enabling them with free-to-them sensors to measure particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their air. VOC’s are “gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Some are harmful by themselves, including some that cause cancer. In addition, some can react with other gases and form other air pollutants after they are in the air.” – American Lung Association
PurpleAir monitors that share data on a real time map can even send text alerts when local levels are unsafe. This map and the data we gather is also used to fill in gaps that may exist in the EPA’s monitoring network, as evidenced by the use of PurpleAir data in EPA maps and tools, and was recently apparent during the wildfire season of 2023.
HB 5018, an industry-backed bill, invalidates data collected by citizen air monitors, posing risks to environmental regulation and community health. You can show your opposition by sending a letter or by attending the public hearing this Friday, Feb. 2, from 9 to 10 am at the WV State Capitol (1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston) in the House Chambers. You can sign up to speak starting at 8:30 am.
Capitol maps and directions can be found here.
You can watch here if you can’t attend but would like to listen in.
Find our guide for attending the HB 5018 Public Hearing here
Citizen air monitoring fosters community engagement and awareness. By actively involving residents in the monitoring process, it empowers them with the knowledge to understand and address local environmental issues and helps them connect with their state regulatory agencies.
We know it’s challenging to follow the session and try and figure out how to make the right difference. But please do keep up the good work! Making those calls to lawmakers on high priority issues is of immeasurable impact — you’re the citizen in Citizen Action Group —and it does get their attention!
Thank you for taking action with WV Citizen Action!