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Air Quality Partnership Comes to Tacoma

Air Quality Partnership Comes to Tacoma


April 20, 2022


Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications,tjumper@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Stacy Ellifritt, Media and Communications, stacy.ellifritt@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005


Air Quality Partnership Comes to Tacoma


The City of Tacoma’s Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability is leading an effort along with Tacoma Public Schools, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and Microsoft Research to get a better understanding of air quality issues and inequities in Tacoma. Tacoma was identified by the Microsoft Research “Project Eclipse” team as an ideal location to test their prototype air sensors because of the potential for measurable observations that can be compared to Tacoma’s Equity Index.

Phase I sensors were recently installed outdoors at ten public schools in Tacoma. Schools were selected based on geographic proximity to one another and other equity considerations, including in lower opportunity areas. The locations selected aim to provide a broad picture of outdoor air quality across neighborhoods and school districts. The information collected will help supplement local data on air quality for the City’s Equity Index and improve future local data. This information will allow the index to compare with current state-based air pollution data to highlight any differences. Data comparisons will also be used on the Health Department’s equity and opportunity zone maps.

Air quality affects all community members; however, some neighborhoods experience burdens based on proximity to industry, the built environment, or different housing types. The City plans to use data gathered from these sensors to prioritize infrastructure funding and program efforts to address climate change – such as mitigating heat islands, assessing the impacts of heat and smoke events, and identifying tree planting priorities.

For more information and program updates, contact sustainability@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-5172.