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Measuring pollution levels in the Port of Baltimore after the bridge collapse

When the container vessel Dali crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse in Baltimore Harbor on March 26, 2024, deliveries to the busy port via ship were halted, and the number of trains and trucks coming into the city dropped dramatically as well.

NOAA researchers immediately knew that there would be unique data to capture while the port was shuttered. Large trucks, piles of coal, and the machinery used to power cranes and ships all contribute to particulate matter in the air and to pollution. Since early April 2024, a team from the NOAA’s Air Resources Lab have been taking air samples in the Curtis Bay neighborhood immediately to the east of the bridge. They hope to provide new insights into the impacts of transportation on air quality for local communities.

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