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Detroit, Michigan: Near Roadway Vehicle Emissions Study

Detroit, Michigan: Near Roadway Vehicle Emissions Study – EPA scientists and engineers will measure, define, and profile roadway air pollutants along a portion of I-96 near Telegraph Road in Detroit, Michigan beginning in October 2010.

During the study, EPA researchers will work with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to gather information to better understand the relationship between traffic emissions and roadway-related air pollution concentrations at various distances from the roadway. Study results will be used to inform future research such as air-quality modeling, health studies, and evaluations of risk-management alternatives.

The Detroit study is part of an EPA/FHWA joint program formally called the Near Road Collaboration Project - a project focused on providing the scientific knowledge and understanding needed to understand concentrations of pollutants from the roadway, and identify effective strategies and tools to control exposure to air pollution and to protect people who live, work or go to school nearby.

During the study, data will be gathered by placing instruments 10, 100, and 300 meters from U.S. While Detroit is an urbanized, industrial area with potential sources of near-by air pollution, these are not anticipated to interfere with the data collection effort. Researchers will also measure meteorological conditions and roadway characteristics such as traffic counts and vehicle types.

Previous research by EPA and others has found that concentrations of particles and gases associated with motor vehicles are elevated near major roadways and other major transportation sources such as airports.

Elevated concentrations of particles and gases emitted from vehicle tailpipes, road dust from passing vehicles, and particles from brake and tire wear have also been found near major transportation sources.

Specific gases found in higher concentrations near roadways include carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and air toxics including benzene and toluene. The Detroit study is the second in a series of studies planned in the United States with different road conditions and weather patterns. The Las Vegas, Nevada near road emissions monitoring study was complete in December 2009.

EPA Technical Contact: Dan Costa, Sc.D., National Program Director for the Clean Air Program,
919-541-2532 or
EPA Media Contact: Margot Perez-Sullivan, Public Information Officer,
415-947-4149 or
FHWA Media Contact: Doug Hecox, Public Affairs Specialist,
(202) 366-2244 or

Updated: 7/6/2011
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