WestSide AirSense: Empowering communities through enhanced PM monitoring

We want to learn more about the air pollution in underserved neighborhoods on the west side of Salt Lake Valley. To do this, we’re using affordable air quality sensors in those areas to measure levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particles.

We are developing air quality maps and alerts to provide instant, local air quality information. Interested community members can get involved and will be compensated for their time. Community input will also help inform air quality sensors’ placement. Outreach modules on particulate pollution and its impact on local air quality will also be available for use by educators and other interested community members.

This project will be completed in May 2026 and updates will be shared here and in the WestSide AirSense newsletter.

Take our survey about air quality in Salt Lake County

If you’re a resident of Salt Lake County, what do you think about air pollution? Your responses will help us better address air quality issues locally.

Host an air quality sensor

The sensor is about the size of a smoke detector, is ultra quiet and has extremely low power requirements. The sensor will be mounted in a protected spot outside your home on your property. A strong WiFi signal (at least 2 bars) and access to electrical power will be needed. Our team will assist hosts with sensor installation, configuration, and data access. Step-by-step instructions will also be provided for hosts who prefer to install the sensors themselves.

Participate in focus groups

Community members who give their time will be compensated!

Dates and information will be announced soon.

Attend community meetings

Community members who give their time will be compensated!

Dates and information will be announced soon.

Sign up if you are interested in hosting a sensor or participating in any of these activities.

Upcoming Community Events

April 23 – Westside Coalition Annual Meeting

April 26 – West Valley Spring Festival

May 18 – Rose Park Festival

June 14 – Neighborhood House: Family Fun Night

Project background

The Salt Lake Valley is facing increasing air quality burdens associated with its rapidly growing population, the development of the Utah Inland Port, increasing transportation emissions, gravel operations, drying of the Great Salt Lake, and more frequent wildfire events. Because of their proximity to these air pollution sources, westside communities in the Salt Lake Valley are disproportionately affected by particle pollution.

Partnerships

Through close partnership with FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake, Utah Clean Cities, the University of Utah, the Salt Lake County Health Department, and the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, we will enhance PM2.5 and PM10 monitoring in underserved westside communities.

Building a foundation of trust with impacted westside communities by

  • Providing reliable, transparent, localized, real-time PM2.5 and PM10 measurements
  • Providing timely access to air quality information through air quality alerts and maps
  • Increasing awareness about PM2.5 and PM10 air quality challenges
  • Translating findings into mitigation actions

Three project components

Sensor deployment

10 PM10 and 36 PM2.5 low-cost AirU sensors (University of Utah/Tellus Inc.) will provide near real-time measurements in westside communities, with focus on areas of concern identified through community engagement activities.

Air quality alerts and maps

Using location-specific PM sensor measurements, community members can view real-time air quality maps and/or sign up for location-specific air quality alerts.

Community engagement

Throughout the project, community members and partners will guide the project design, sensor siting, data collection, presentation of results, outreach activities, and target mitigation strategies. This will be done through a series of engagement activities:

  • Community Steering Committee
  • Survey distribution
  • Community events and presentations
  • Focus groups and listening sessions
  • Educational modules
  • Sensor hosting and training events

Do you live in an impacted community?

Check the map

Transparent and increased access to air quality information

Real-time, accurate and localized PM2.5 and PM10 measurements will be available in underserved westside communities through maps and instant air-quality alerts.

Educational modules

Activity-centered teaching modules with detailed lesson plans on particulate pollution and its impact on local air quality and health will be developed to increase community awareness about local air quality challenges. School instructors can use these modules in the classroom when teaching about air quality and the Great Salt Lake.

If you are interested in a facilitator to lead an educational activity for your students or community group, please contact pelican@fogsl.org.

Equitable community steering committee

A steering committee with equitable community representation and shared decision-making power will be developed.

Action plans

Public health recommendations for reducing exposure to particulate pollution on the individual and community level will be provided. For instance, outdoor school recess guidelines will be examined, and information on air pollution “hotspots” will be used to inform regulatory efforts (e.g. siting of permanent monitoring stations, compliance action).


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