- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding a $750,000 grant for the construction of a low-cost air-pollution sensor network that will test for volcanic emissions on the Big Island.

The EPA said Tuesday that Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists will develop the network to track how Kilauea volcano’s emissions affect air quality.

Air quality near Kilauea can be poor because the volcano emits high levels of sulfur dioxide. Fine particulate matter mixes with the sulfur dioxide, making volcanic smog or “vog.” The vog negatively affects human health and crops.

Recent technological advances have spurred the development of low-cost air pollution sensors, but the sensors haven’t been widely tested.

The scientists will study the accuracy of data produced by sensors and explore how the data can be gathered and used by communities.

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