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St. Louis Community Air Project (CAP)

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The St. Louis Community Air Project is a broad-based collaborative effort, which seeks to improve residents' health by identifying and reducing air pollutants in the St. Louis urban areas. The multi-year project commitments include:

-understand the presence of air pollutants in the St. Louis area
-involve community stakeholders in implementing the Project. Educate community and local students about air pollution
-engage residents and community members in activities designed to create healthier air and a healthier community
-monitor more than 110 air pollutants and develop inventory of pollutant sources
-compare monitoring results to health benchmarks (standards)
-identify sources and target actions, if potential health impacts exist
-strive toward voluntary reductions in air pollution to reduce potential health problems

The CAP Partnership manages the project. The Partnership is a community-based group including residents, businesses, business associations, governments and other institutions. More than 40 entities comprise the Partnership and Emily Andrews is the managing Partner. The Partnership includes:

Residents of the Project area, American Bottom Conservancy, American Lung Association, Anheuser-Busch, Bradley & Company, Community Environmental Resource Program, Easr-West Gateway Coordinating Council, Ferguson-Florrisant School District, Festus School District, Francis Howell School District, Frauenhoffer & Associates, Hazelwood School District, Jerseyville School District, John Hopkins University, Laidlaw, Marine Villa Improvement Association, Mehlville School District, Metro, Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Association, Normandy School District, North Side Clean Air Project, Orchard Farm School District, Parkway School District, Regional Chamber and Growth Association, Rhodia, Inc., RideFinders, Roosevelt High School, Alderman Craig Schmid, Sierra Club, Sigma Aldrich, Slay Industries, Solutia, Inc., St. Alexis Hospital, St. Clair School District, St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO), St. Louis City Air Pollution Control, St. Louis City Comptroller's Office, St. Louis Neighborhood Stabilization Office, St. Louis Development Corporation, St. Louis Department of Health, St. Louis Housing Authority, St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis Public Schools, St. Louis University, Tetra Tech EM, Iinc., Team Sweep Model Citizens Program, Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association, Tower Grove Health Watch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washigton University, Wentzville School District, Wyman Community Connections and growing!

The project is now running implementation teams that focus on - 1) indoor air toxics 2)diesel emission reductions 3) improved emissions inventory and pollution prevention assistance for small businesses and 4) efforts to focus on "greener buildings" by working with the St. Louis Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Early successes include diesel emission reductions through both technical and policy efforts. The CAP's work lead to $1.1 million dollars in diesel oxidation catalyst retrofits for school buses. Reductions are underway to retrofit more than 800 diesel school bus engines in the St. Louis Metro. The CAP and its Partners have also trained more than 500 drivers, fleet (Laidlaw) and district personnel on idle reduction issues (more than30 school districts). Funding was also obtained to retrofit 44 trash trucks in the City of St. Louis.

After 2 years of monitoring for air toxics the six pollutants were identified as pollutants of concern. Five names pollutants were based upon the observed monitoring average exceeding long-term cancer health benchmarks established by the Partnership. Those five pollutants are acetaldehyde, arsenic compounds, benzene, chromium compounds, and formaldehyde. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) was also included as a pollutant of concern based upon the EPA and the California Air Resources Board evaluations of its potential to be a likely carcinogen at environmental levels. EPA concluded that current available data were inadequate to derive a cancer unit risk estimate for diesel exhaust or its component, diesel particulate matter.

Additional monitoring to further characterize formaldehyde began in September 2003 and will continue thru the summer of 2004. The data collected from this effort provided critical information that identified formaldehyde as an Urban and Regional-scale air pollutant. Real-time monitoring data for formaldehyde does not indicate an acute or chronic non-cancer risk from formaldehyde exposure.

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