New program monitors air pollution in local neighborhoods

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SAN DIEGO – A new program is monitoring air pollution in ways never done before by San Diego County’s Air Pollution Control District.

The program, funded by a state grant, evaluates the presence of pollutants in the air at the ground level in several neighborhoods including Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights and parts of National City.

“We’ve only monitored for overall air pollution up in the air near the mountains and not down at the ground level in neighborhoods. We’ve never done that, we’ve never been equipped to do that or even been funded,” said Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Kard.

The first round of monitoring happened in February. A third-party contractor drove a vehicle outfitted with monitoring equipment through the study areas to get a snapshot of the air quality. The results from that evaluation are expected next week and will shed light on how to proceed.

“Next we’ll put out 15 very specialized monitors with the best of the equipment that exists -- very high tech -- and we will measure at ground level in neighborhoods, near schools, near homes, just what the air has in it and once we identify that then we can work toward eliminating that air pollution,” said Kard.

Former teacher Patricia Cardenas told FOX 5 she used to hear parents voice concerns over the air quality in Barrio Logan.

“I really like that they’re doing something about it,” said Cardenas. “We hope to see that difference, especially for the future generations, the young people.”

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