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Protecting Communities from Air Toxics (also known as the Camden Waterfront South Air Toxics Pilot Project)

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NATA results predicted that South Camden is exposed to the highest air toxics exposures in New Jersey. The study employed a suite of inventory, modeling and monitoring methods to identify exposure to air toxics in the neighborhood.  The study also generated a set of risk reduction strategies. South Camden was already an area of concern as an Environmental Justice community. The project report is attached. It is/will be available on the Internet at the following location: http://www.nj.gov/dep/ej/airtoxics.htm. The author of the report is Joann Held, Project Manager, Bureau of Air Quality Evaluation, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 027, Trenton, NJ 08625; telepnone number (609) 633-1110.

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This section describes the results of the assessment, the stakeholders involved, and any future plans related to the assessment.

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1. As a result of this project, will further data be collected, monitoring be conducted, or additional problem identification studies undertaken? Will refinements be made to modeling or exposure and/or toxicity assumptions?

2. If the project is complete, what recommendations were made to reduce risk and/or emissions or otherwise mitigate the impacts of the problems identified as a result of this project?

Stationary Source recommendations include: Pollution prevention plan review, permits for new and modified sources, enforcement and compliance assistance, odor abatement strategies, energy efficient projects, waste handling best management practices.

Truck emission recommendations include: Idling rule enforcement, redirect truck traffic, diesel retrofits, ultralow diesel sulfur fuel.

Environmental health education recommendations include: Asthma outreach, air pollution materials, environmental education curriculum in schools.

Vegetation recommendations include: Tree planting, community gardens.

3. If the project is complete, were reduction activity emissions or risk reductions calculated?    

3.a. Are reduction factors being developed?    

3.b. What are the expected reductions achieved by the individual activities?

3.c. Additional Comments:

4. Will the results of this project contribute to regulatory development, enforcement actions, or voluntary actions?

5. Are future projects/efforts planned or refined as a result of this project?

A similar project is in progress in Paterson, NJ.

6. Are there any major uncertainties or cautions regarding the project process or findings?

7. Are there any lessons learned that would benefit other projects?

We are trying a Bucket Brigade approach to air monitoring which could prove useful for other projects.


The experience of carrying out this study provided many insights that will be helpful as we undertake the next project. Some of the more tangible findings are listed below.

1) Compiling an emissions inventory at the level of detail needed for a study such as this is very difficult. In a neighborhood study, such as this, there will be many small sources that are not included in traditional DEP documents (such as TRI and air permits). Therefore, other resources are necessary to compile a complete emissions inventory at the neighborhood level.
2) Locating information that identifies known contaminated sites in a given neighborhood was also difficult, and the actual contaminants at each site could not be determined without reviewing each DEP paper file individually. New tools in NJEMS may make this task more manageable.
3) Hiring students to help compile neighborhood information early in the project is a very cost-effective tool. Students generally have good internet searching skills and also have the benefit of staying focused on a single project while regular staff are juggling multiple projects.
4) Assistance from the County Health Department through the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA) program can be invaluable because of their intimate knowledge of local sources.

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