Particulate Monitor Siting in Relation to Major Highways in Metro Washington, DC: Effects on Measured Pollution Concentrations and Implications for

Policy By Michael Replogle1, Bob Yuhnke2 and David Greenblatt3 U.S. EPA 2006 National Air Monitoring Conference Las Vegas, Nevada, November 5-8, 2006 This paper reports on a recent review of ambient PM 2.5 data from air monitors in the Washington D.C. metropolitan region. The study was undertaken to evaluate the relationship between annual mean PM2.5 concentrations and proximity of monitors to major roadways in the Washington D.C.-Marylnad-Virginia nonattainment area. Distanceweighted traffic volumes were calculated for all major transportation facilities within a 1200-meter distance of any of the study area monitors. A gamma-natural log decay function was developed to approximate the exponential decay functions found in Gaussian air pollution dispersion models. Our findings demonstrate a significant relationship between PM 2.5 annual average levels and the traffic-density weighted distance of monitors to major highways. We suspect that this relationship would be shown to be significantly stronger when the concentrations associated with winds from the direction of the highway are accounted for separately. The conclusions drawn from this study and a related literature search and synthesis are – 1. Neighborhoods located near highways are likely exposed to significantly higher concentrations of PM 2.5 (from 2.0 to 2.5 µg/m3) than neighborhoods located at greater distances from heavily trafficked highway sources. 2. Using data from monitors not located in close proximity to major freeways as part of the project level conformity analysis without adjusting for the traffic density based proximity effects may not properly identify existing or potential violations of the PM2.5 NAAQS. Selectively relying upon concentrations from monitors located in rural or residential areas distant from major freeways, while ignoring nonattainment concentrations found at monitors located nearby to major freeways, provides no adequate basis for determining the “current background concentration” under the PM 2.5 Hot Spot rule, 40 CFR § 93.123(c)(2). 3. In the metropolitan Washington, DC, region, monitors that measure violations of the NAAQS, i.e., greater than an annual mean of 15 µg/m3, are located near major freeways. 4. Monitor siting relative to high traffic volume roads should be considered in evaluating observed monitor levels and their relationship to SIP design values if public health is to be protected.

1

Transportation Director, Environmental Defense, 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009. 202-387-3500 mreplogle@environmentaldefense.org 2 Independent Consultant, 303-499-0425 bob.yuhnke@prodigy.net 3 Analyst, Environmental Defense, 257 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. 212-616-1347 dgreenblatt@environmentaldefense.org

December 2005.000.” AJRCCM.000 was 15 µg/m3. DC. M. “Urban Air Monitoring Strategy – Preliminary Results Using Aethalometer™ Carbon Measurements for the Seattle Metropolitan Area” (April 2004).5 in the Washington D.7 The aim of the work presented here was to evaluate the relationship between measurements of annual PM 2. Urban Air Monitoring Strategy [Exhibit 2].”4 Evidence shows that major freeways can be expected to contribute an increment to urban background annual PM2. a proposed toll motorway north of Washington. et al. Introduction EPA’s December 2005 Draft National Ambient Air Monitoring Strategy recognizes that its current monitoring network design does not capture near roadway impacts.8 4 EPA. and that there is an urgent need to do so. elemental carbon (EC) and PM2. A second purpose of this investigation was to estimate likely PM 2.5 from a highway reported by Dutch researchers who estimate that the highway contributes about 3 µg/m3 at 60 meters.org/PDFs/PM25coverletter.C. Table 2 [Exhibit 3].5 measured in a school yard 60 meters downwind from a freeway with annual average daily trips (AADT) of 190.5 concentrations undertaken by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency demonstrates similar results. 7 “On health risks of ambient PM in the Netherlands.5 A research project to investigate the contribution of transportation sources to black carbon (BC). NC. Environmental Protection Agency. At a monitoring station located within 20 meters of I-5 in downtown Seattle where AADT is more than 200. 8 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). (2006). with the impact tailing off to about 1 µg/m3 at 100 meters.6 These data are consistent with modeled concentrations of PM 2. Project-level Conformity Determination for the Intercounty County Connector Project in Maryland. annual mean BC concentrations were found to be 2 µg/m3 compared to 0. “East Bay Children’s Respiratory Health Study. Table 2.4 µg/m3 at a urban residential site (Beacon Hill) 600 meters from I5.5 in the range of at least 2 to 3 µg/m3 in neighborhoods near the freeway traffic lanes. p. 9. The East Bay Children’s Health study shows that mean PM 2.S.” Netherlands Aerosol Programme (October 2002)..5 baseline concentrations in 2010 at the two hot spot locations identified by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as part of a 2006 project-level conformity analysis of the Intercounty Connector (ICC) outer beltway.-Maryland-Virginia nonattainment area and the proximity of the monitors to major freeways.” Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. 5 6 Kim. 54.pdf . 3 µg/m3 above the levels reported at the regional scale monitors operated by the Air District (12 µg/m3). Research Triangle Park. Gilroy. 2005: U. It acknowledges that “research monitoring efforts to characterize the impacts of mobile sources near roadways are emerging as a key area for ambient monitoring development. et al. See Ppt Slide 15. Fig. Last Retrieved on 10/11/06 at http://iccstudy.I. “National Ambient Air Monitoring Strategy (Draft).

AADT volumes. Identification of Major Transportation Facilities Within 1000-Meter Radius of Monitors The geographic coordinates for the above-referenced eleven monitors were obtained from U.5monitors exist in the nonattainment area. A. Detailed road alignment features are also available for the entire Washington DC-MD-VA region. Traffic Services Administration.10 The base imagery in Google Earth includes photographs taken by satellites and aircraft sometime in the last three years.Monitors Eleven air quality monitors were selected for this study. five in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based on a query of PM2. Highway Information Services Division. See Attachment I: DC Area Monitor Locations. Methodology. The roadway names. Washington DC AADT volumes (2002) were collected from the District Department of Transportation.0 ug/m3 in 2005. State Highway Administration. EPA’s AIRS Data website. and one is in DC -. 10 The latest version of Google Earth can be accessed at: http://earth. and three in the State of Maryland.5 Highway/Monitor Data Table. B. Air Quality . Major transportation facilities were defined as roadways that have Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) volumes of more than 10. there are two monitors co-located at both the Upper Marlboro and RFK Stadium sites. Calculating distance-weighted traffic density values for the monitoring sites involved a two-step process: (1) Weighting traffic volumes by a distance-from-monitor decay factor.html . The high-resolution base imagery reveals individual buildings and roadways and provides a convenient tool to measure the distance between monitors and nearby roadways.5 standard of 15.000 vehicles. and 9 Thirteen PM 2.5 Nonattainment Area. All major transportation facilities located within 1200 meters of a monitor were identified by applying Google Earth’s measuring tool. AADT volumes (2005) for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties were obtained from the Maryland Department of Transportation. C. All eleven monitors are located in the Washington. One monitor is in Virginia -. At these sites. And AADT volumes (2004) for Fairfax County were downloaded from the Virginia Department of Transportation website.near Tidal Basin. however.com/earth4.near Pentagon City. two monitors exceed the annual mean PM2. proximity and azimuth of each major transportation facility within 1200 meters of the eleven monitoring sites are included in Exhibit B: PM 2.google. DC-MD-VA PM2. GoogleEarth 2005 was used to map the coordinates of each monitor.S. the monitor with the highest number of observations was included as part of our sample.II.5 monitoring data reported at U. three in the District of Columbia.S. Calculating Distance Weighted Traffic Density . EPA’s AIRS Data website.9 See Exhibit A: Air Monitors.

on the y-axis. and 2005 average annual PM 2. The impact zone of each monitor was divided into eight (8) equidistant azimuth ranges (e.5 concentration in 2010.(2) Summing the weighted traffic volumes for all major transportation facilities in the neighborhood scale detection zone of each monitor. and a 100% loss at 1500 meters.) Multiple roadway segment records were included for roadways that traversed more than one azimuth range of the same impact zone. A gamma-natural log decay function was developed to estimate decay rates for highway emissions. The decision to treat roadways that surround a monitor as multiple point sources is based on the recent findings of a research report that assessed the impacts of roadway proximity on ambient concentrations of diesel PM. 45 to 90 degrees. 0 to 45 degrees. This gamma-natural log decay function was selected to approximate the exponential decay functions found in Gaussian air pollution dispersion models. See Results section below. D. and ambient concentrations in Portland. . which will produce a simplified dispersion model more similar to CALPUFF.0) Where C5 = Distance From Monitor to Roadway The AADT volumes were multiplied by the distance-from-monitor decay factor to derive a weighted AADT estimate for each nearby roadway segment – roadway segments within the 1200-meter impact zone of a monitor.GAMMALN(C5/1500)/4. The wind direction and distance are important parts of the underlying physical model. Distance weighted traffic density was then calculated for two hypothetical monitor locations. Relationship between motor vehicle emissions of hazardous pollutants. 2010 ICC No-Build Alternative traffic estimates obtained 11 Cohen et al. Predicting PM 2. 712.g. 2004. roadway proximity. which concluded:11 The model presented here has a serious limitation. See Results section below. and yet they did not appear to improve the regression results. 20.. Distance-weighted traffic density volumes were plotted on the x-axis. The Microsoft Excel formula for the gamma-natural log decay function used in this study is as follows: =IF (C5<=1500. Environmental Modelling & Software. The final step involved summing the distance-weighted-traffic volumes for each monitor impact zone to determine a distance-weighted traffic density for each of the eleven monitors.5 concentrations. The hypothetical monitors were sited at points of expected greatest impact from existing sources along the proposed ICC corridor. The distance weighted traffic density of roadways nearby the hypothetical monitors was calculated in the same manner as documented above. However. etc. We believe that these effects could be better accounted for using an approach that treated each link as multiple point sources instead of a single point source at the link centroid. The "least squares" method was used to calculate a straight line that best fits the data. The decay function assumes a 49% decrease in emissions at 200 meters. Distance-weighted traffic volumes were calculated for all major transportation facilities within a 1200-meter impact of any of the study monitors. Oregon.

.from the EIS were used.5 concentrations were determined by multiplying the distance-weighted traffic density by the slope of our line of best fit and adding in the y-intercept value. Predicted average annual PM 2. to more accurately predict likely PM 2. in lieu of current traffic counts. The 2010 No Build Alternative traffic counts were obtained from the ICC Draft Environmental Impact Statement.5 concentrations in 2010.

527903859 Standard Error 0. Results The results are summarized below and presented in detail in Exhibit C: Results.954.527114824 Observations 11 This study accounts for only the distance of a monitor from major highway sources.5 as a Function of Distance Weighted Traffic Density PM 2. R-squared value = 0. . or the frequency and duration of meteorological conditions when the monitor is downwind of the highway source.000 Sum of Weighted AADT Monitors Linear (Monitors) SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.5 Annual Mean (ug/m3) 16.5 13 0 200.5 16 15.5 14 13.000 600.000 400.5 concentrations: PM 2. Substituting the distance-weighted traffic densities of each hypothetical monitor location for x.575113473 Adjusted R Square 0. 1. Line of best fit using “least squared” method: Y = .000 800. and does not include consideration of major stationary sources in the vicinity of a monitor.758362363 R Square 0. resulted in the following predicted 2010 annual average PM 2. where x is equal to the distance-weighted traffic density of a monitor 3.5 15 14.III.575 2.00000327327x + 13.

5 = 16.5 in 2010 = 15.25 ug/m3 .Hypothetical Monitor near I-270/I-370: Predicted Average Annual PM 2.10 ug/m3. Hypothetical Monitor near I-95/ICC: Predicted Annual Average PM2.

5. most of them more than 2000 meters from a major highway.H. Pechan’s synthesis of studies found substantial evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific literature “showing that emissions of PM2.4 µg/m3. even when the frequency that winds will transport emissions from 12 E. DC. assuming that natural background concentrations in the eastern US are 4-5 µg/m3. The magnitude of this variance among sites within a relatively small region that is mostly commercial/residential without many large industrial sources of PM 2.” Pechan also noted that. These monitors account for the designation of the Washington metro area as nonattainment. The monitors with the highest PM 2. and the possible role of individual major stationary sources in the neighborhoods of the monitors. show significantly lower annual means. our study of data from air monitors in the Washington. This variance is more than 25% of the anthropogenic portion of ambient PM 2. April 2006. Pechan in a separate review of findings from other studies.0 to 2.C. The higher concentrations near major freeways reflect the incremental contribution of localized sources such as motor vehicle emissions emitted at ground level. These lower annual means likely represent the relatively uniform contribution of long range transport across a region the size of the Capitol region. Recognizing that the study is limited by not accounting for the azimuth relationship between the highway sources. credible scientific evidence omitted from the SHA analysis supports the conclusion that adding 120. Other monitors in the region that are more than 1200 meters distant from major freeways.H. metropolitan area demonstrate a variation of 2.”12. metropolitan area demonstrates a significant relationship between the traffic density weighted distance of the roadway to the monitor. Critique of Intercounty Connector Hot Spot Study.5 (measured as black carbon [BC]) from highways carrying as many motor vehicles as are expected to travel the ICC Project in the vicinity of the termini at I-95 and I-370 are likely to add 2. Thus.000 vehicle trips per day in the vicinity of I-95 and I-370 will contribute to new or more frequent and more severe violations of the NAAQS. . p. The concentrations predicted by this method at the hypothetical monitors in the hot spot locations identified by SHA/FHWA were consistent with data obtained from highway monitoring studies analyzed by E.5 appears too large to be accounted for by long range transport. Conclusions The eleven monitoring stations in the tri-state Washington D. These relationships suggest that the true peak microscale and neighborhood concentrations of PM 2. Pechan & Associations. 1. the investigation nonetheless suggests that a significant portion of the variance among sites can be accounted for by the proximity of monitors to large highways.5 μg/m3 to baseline concentrations in the near-roadway atmosphere. or is surrounded on three sides by major freeways within less than 1200 meters (0020).5 from highways will not be identified if only monitors many kilometers distant from major freeways are selected to estimate highway impacts and/or baseline concentrations. “consideration of relevant.5 annual concentrations in the region are either the monitors located closest to major freeways (0042 and 0041).IV. the monitors and the prevalence of winds along that azimuth.

2. 40 CFR § 93. In the metropolitan Washington. greater than an annual mean of 15 µg/m3.5 NAAQS. . region. i. monitors that measure violations of the NAAQS. DC..123(c)(2).0 to 2.5 µg/m3) than neighborhoods located at greater distances from heavily trafficked highway sources. The conclusions drawn from our study and a related literature search and synthesis are – 1.e. Neighborhoods located near highways are likely exposed to significantly higher concentrations of PM 2. Using data from monitors not located in close proximity to major freeways as part of project level conformity analysis without adjusting for the traffic density based proximity effects may not properly identify existing or potential violations of the PM2. are located near major freeways. provides no adequate basis for determining the “current background concentration” under the PM 2. We suspect that the relationship would be shown to be significantly stronger when the concentrations associated with winds from the direction of the highway are accounted for separately. Selectively relying upon concentrations from monitors located in rural or residential areas distant from major freeways. while ignoring nonattainment concentrations found at monitors located nearby to major freeways.5 (from 2. 3.the freeway to the monitor are not taken into account.5 Hot Spot rule.

End Mcmillian Reservoir Lothrop E Smith Env.5) 330 115 351 120 107 108 345 120 105 119 114 98th Pct (24-Hour PM2.E.EXHIBIT A: Air Monitors Monitor ID 110010041 110010042 110010043 240313001 240330030 240338003 510590030 510591005 510595001 510130020 511071005 # Obs (24-Hour PM2.E.5) 36 36 34 32 32 31 35 35 35 34 38 Annual Mean (PM2. Broad Run High School .6 13.6 13.3 14.6 14.8 14. And Dix Streets. 46-B9. N.8 15.4 13. Lee Park.5) 14. Telegraph R 6507 Columbia Pike Lewinsville 1437 Balls Hill Rd S 18th And Hayes St 38-I.4 14.Ed Center 12003 Old Baltimore Pike Prince Georges Equestrian Cente Sta.9 15.8 13. Park Services Office 1100 Ohio D S.6 EPA Site Address 34th.

950 36.800 91.900 61.300 76.015 500 600 3.700 17.Exhibit B: PM 2.900 61.100 250.100 11.000 61.100 188.800 36.130 395 485 830 975 115 165 145 260 105 115 210 900 270 585 310 355 840 355 900 300 420 415 675 750 815 6.400 27.700 13.800 241.700 60.400 24.000 56.100 188.800 36.250 198.900 250.950 36.575 113.402 4.000 30.800 76.700 27.375 49.400 28.700 76.400 950 3.176 400 865 430 Monitor ID 110010041 110010042 110010043 240313001 240330030 240338003 Roadway Location DC 295 DC 295 DC 295 Benning Rd Benning Rd Benning Rd Benning Rd E Capitol E Capitol E Capitol Minnesota Ave Minnesota Ave Minnesota Ave Nannie Helen Burroughs I-395 I-395 I-395 I-395 US 1 US 1 US 1 US 1 Maine Ave Maine Ave Maine Ave US 1 US 1 US 1 US 1 N Capital N Capital N Capital Florida Ave Florida Ave US 29 I-270 I-370 MD 355 US 1 I-95 Old Baltimore Pike Old Baltimore Pike MD 295 US 301 US 301 US 301 AADT 91.950 Truck Traffic 4.900 36.900 28.800 27.000 60.375 76.575 16.925 16.500 34.5 Highway/Monitor Data Table Distance to Monitor (m) 140 205 225 150 270 200 870 830 1.325 31.800 91.000 20.170 1.800 4.900 Azimuth (degrees) 135 90 180 180 135 225 270 180 225 135 135 90 180 65 135 90 180 225 315 270 360 225 45 90 360 135 90 180 225 90 45 135 225 180 270 225 315 270 135 45 90 .700 188.075 36.200 20.200 56.200 22.

060 520 565 1.000 33.000 34.510590030 510591005 510595001 510130020 511071005 US 301 MD 4 MD 4 MD 4 I-95 VA 611 VA 611 VA 241 VA 241 VA 241 US 1 VA 244 VA 244 VA 244 VA 244 VA 244 VA 712 VA 712 I-395 VA 123 VA 123 VA 123 VA 123 I-495 I-495 I-495 Dulles Toll Road Dulles Toll Road Dulles Toll Road VA 694 VA 694 VA 694 I-395 I-395 I-395 I-395 US 1 US 1 US 1 15th Street 15th Street 23rd Street VA 640 VA 640 VA 640 VA 641 36.000 34.200 480 710 200 230 425 2.000 17.000 34.000 34.000 190.320 2.000 33.775 48.775 48.000 23.950 1.000 199.000 19.029 45 55 140 60 600 430 540 3.000 199.040 170 170 130 566 175 270 250 3.001 52.240 340 340 340 340 340 0 0 5.300 23.000 52.200 885 1.320 1.000 36.000 52.140 1.775 146.700 5.000 66.001 4.400 0 0 0 0 5.002 17.300 180.090 40 90 50 940 1.000 66.000 36.970 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.300 4.000 66.000 13.200 1.700 5.000 165.040 1.000 36.950 48.000 62.970 5.970 5.000 19.000 190.040 1.000 17.000 23.000 34.174 25 50 25 110 1.000 1.000 23.000 10.000 199.000 190.001 13.000 17.000 36.000 17.030 970 600 710 850 300 340 790 415 460 875 445 180 360 45 335 315 270 180 135 225 360 45 90 315 270 135 180 135 90 180 225 335 290 245 225 180 270 225 180 270 290 245 335 25 90 135 45 45 360 135 45 360 90 30 .000 19.700 4.001 23.

8 510130020 89.503 15.758362363 0.4 240338003 100.Exhibit C: Detailed Results Monitor ID Sum (Weighted AADT) Annual Mean (PM2.6 510591005 113.019 14.6 240313001 0 13.837 14.3 511071005 14.6 SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 0.883 15.151 14.839 14.8 510590030 41.575113473 0.4 510595001 247.148 13.5) 110010041 260.6 240330030 10.9 110010042 612.8 110010043 130.110 13.527114824 11 .897 13.503 14.527903859 0.

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