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  • Writer's pictureEnvironmental Health Project

Concerned about oil and gas operations in your New York State community?

Apply to EHP’s air monitoring network program!


For many years, the Environmental Health Project (EHP) has worked with communities with existing or proposed shale gas facilities to collect and analyze local air quality data that informs health-protective actions. Through these collaborations, we heard about the undue burden placed on residents to provide evidence of the health harms they experience and the need for clear, accessible information. As low-cost air quality monitoring technology improved and the body of research demonstrating health risks linked to shale gas development grew, information about shale gas emissions and health impacts became increasingly available, but also increasingly complex.



In 2020, EHP designed the Environmental HealthWatch Model to synthesize the available air quality data and research on the health implications of the shale gas industry into meaningful analyses and recommendations. While this program centers on the deployment of a network of around 4 to 10 low-cost air quality monitors in a community, it goes beyond collecting real-time data and provides guidance on how to interpret the data and take steps to protect one’s health.


We are thrilled to announce that we will be accepting applications for a new cohort of communities in New York State to participate in a HealthWatch engagement. The cohort will begin this summer (around June or July depending on the needs of the communities who participate) and conclude in October 2025. Organizations or groups representing a community with existing or proposed oil or gas infrastructure are encouraged to apply! The application deadline is May 15, 2024.


Key components of this program are:

  • An air quality monitor network recording real-time levels of:

    • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5)

    • Total volatile organic compounds (tVOCs)

  • Access to EHP’s AirView app for real-time analysis of monitor network data (initial training sessions and ongoing tech support included)

  • Comprehensive air quality reports for the community at large and each individual monitoring site

  • Recommendations for policy changes that protect public health, based on local conditions and concerns

  • Strategies for residents to reduce their risk from exposure to harmful pollutants

  • A community-wide meeting to share project findings and recommendations


Residents in Tompkins, NY, participated in EHP’s HealthWatch program to obtain data about emissions from the nearby Borger Compressor Station. By leveraging the technical expertise and organizing skills of various community members and the nonprofit group, Mothers Out Front, HealthWatch participants were able to build a relationship with the operator. The community requested upgrades to the compressor station during work to expand the facility. They were successful because they had data to prove the efficacy of the improvements. The impact of the improvements was confirmed by air monitoring data.


Last fall, Stu Berg, a Tompkins resident, said of the HealthWatch program:

Mothers Out Front and I felt it was important to know what the level of pollution was before the project, during, and after the project. To do that, we had to have monitors. We put in four PurpleAir monitors. We check the PurpleAir every day. I have a listserv and I send it out to the community. The numbers have been really high because of the wildfire smoke lately, but at least people could know to wear a mask that day. It’s been so helpful to the community to have that information. Now anyone can see that when they get up in the morning.

If you’re ready to take steps to understand the impact of a shale gas facility and other pollution sources in your community, check out the requirements for participation. For more information on the 2024 New York State HealthWatch Cohort, contact Talor Musil at 724-260-5504 or by email at tmusil@environmentalhealthproject.org.

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