MOV-UP: Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles Study

Project Goals

The Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles (MOV-UP) Study is a two-year project, funded by the State of Washington, which aims to study air quality impacts of air traffic for communities located near, and below the flight paths of the SeaTac airport.  The study will assess ultrafine PM concentrations within 10 miles of the airport in the directions of aircraft flight.  Furthermore, the study will attempt to distinguish between aircraft and other sources of ultrafine PM, and compare levels of ultrafine PM in areas impacted by high volumes of air traffic with those that are not impacted.

The research team will coordinate with local governments and solicit feedback from community members.  This website will keep the public informed on the progress of the study.  A Study Advisory Group made up of representatives from government agencies, cities, and community organizations will advise the study design and methods.  Study progress will be presented public meetings to obtain feedback from a broader set of aircraft-related air quality stakeholders.

A final report documenting the findings of the study will be prepared by December 2019.

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Study Advisory Group

Various governmental agency, city, and community organization representatives were invited by the Dean of the School of Public Health to serve as members on a Study Advisory Group.  The group includes representatives from the following organizations:
  • Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
  • US EPA Region X
  • WA State Department of Ecology
  • Public Health of Seattle & King County
  • Port of Seattle
  • FAA Northwest Mountain Region
  • WA State Department of Health
  • Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force
  • Beacon Hill CHAC
  • WA State Department of Commerce
  • City of Burien
  • City of Des Moines
  • City of SeaTac
  • City of Tukwila
  • City of Normandy Park
  • Congressman Adam Smith
  • WA State House of Representatives, Mike Pellicciotti
  • WA State House of Representatives, Tina Orwall
  • US House of Representatives, Pramila Jayapal

The group will meet at key points during the study to:

  1. Provide feedback on study design and methods.
  2. Provide feedback on study preliminary findings.
  3. Provide feedback on draft study report.
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Project Outcomes

Project results will be shared with community partners on an ongoing basis through meetings and this website. A final report will be produced by December 2019.  We expect that our results will increase community understanding of the spatial footprint of ultrafine PM associated with aircraft traffic at SeaTac.  Although the current study is not a health effects study, the current study's mapping of the ultrafine PM footprint in communities near the airport, will help the planning and design for potential future phases of study that may further understanding of disproportionate exposures to ultrafine PM and its health impacts on communities.

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Communication

Announcments and materials from meetings are provided below.

WA State Proviso for the Study (Summer 2017)

The funding for the MOV-UP study was provided to the University of Washington by a proviso in the state budget.  The language of the proviso describes the objectives of the study, as follows:

Topic: Air Quality Proviso

(x) $140,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2018 and $140,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 are provided solely for the university of Washington school of public health to study the air quality implications of air traffic at the international airport in the state that has the highest total annual number of arrivals and departures. The study must include an assessment of the concentrations of ultrafine particulate matter in areas surrounding and directly impacted by air traffic generated by the airport, including areas within ten miles of the airport in the directions of aircraft flight paths and within ten miles of the airport where public agencies operate an existing air monitoring station. The study must attempt to distinguish between aircraft and other sources of ultrafine particulate matter, and must compare concentrations of ultrafine particulate matter in areas impacted by high volumes of air traffic with concentrations of ultrafine particulate matter in areas that are not impacted by high volumes of air traffic. The university must coordinate with local governments in areas addressed by the study to share results and inclusively solicit feedback from community members. By December 1, 2019, the university must report study findings, including any gaps and uncertainties in health information associated with ultrafine particulate matter, and recommend to the Legislature whether sufficient information is available to proceed with a second phase of the study.

Highline Forum (November 15, 2017)

A presentation was given to the Highline Forum describing previous studies of ultrafine PM near other airports, and a brief overview of the health effects associated with ultrafine PM.  The powerpoint file for this presentation is available via this link:

Highline Forum Nov 15, 2017 PPT presentation

 

Study Advisory Group Meeting (January 5, 2018)

The Study Advisory Group met to discuss the study design and methods.  Below are links to the presentation materials:

Study Advisory Group Jan 5, 2018 meeting materials

Study Advisory Group Jan 5, 2018 PPT presentation

 

Highline Forum (March 28, 2018)

A public meeting will be held at the Highline Forum in Federal Way on March 28, 2018 to discuss the study design and methods:

Highline Forum Presentation

 

Study Advisory Group Meeting (August 15, 2018)

The Study Advisory Group met to discuss the study progress, preliminary data analysis methods and results.  Below are links to the presentation materials:

Study Advisory Group Aug 15, 2018 meeting materials

Study Advisory Group Aug 15, 2018 poll results for prioritizing next steps

 
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Research Team Contact Information

Picture of Edmund Seto
Edmund Seto, PhD
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
 
 
Timothy Larson, PhD
Principal Investigator
Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
 
 
Mike Yost, PhD
Co-Investigator
Professor and Chair, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
 
 
Picture of Elena Austin
Elena Austin, ScD
Research Scientist, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
 
 
Tim Gould
Research Scientist, Civil & Environmental Engineering
 
 
Jeff Shirai
Research Scientist, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
 
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Media

Media coverage related to the MOV-UP study are provided below.