HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) unveiled its new air monitoring vehicle Monday in East Hartford. The technology will fill the gaps between the state’s 14 stationary monitoring systems.
The Geospatial Measurement of Air Pollution (GMAP) vehicle was custom-built by DEEP. The SUV analyzes air quality using instruments that can detect and record the concentration of 16 pollutants in real time.
“It will strengthen DEEP’s ability to do that enforcement and track compliance among these facilities that are contributing to air emissions,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said.
DEEP officials said the vehicle would help improve air quality, encourage community engagement, and promote environmental justice.
“We want to make sure we’re engaging community groups and residents in those areas and understanding their concerns and their needs in regards to air quality,” Jake Felton, the director of the air quality enforcement division at DEEP.
The vehicle is one of a kind, as only a handful of similar cars exist in the country, and this GMAP vehicle is specifically configured to detect pollutants of concern in Connecticut. A significant portion of the vehicle’s creation was funded through an EPA multipurpose grant.