Air Quality in Prince George’s County During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Through their work with the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland (UMD), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) commissioned this report from the university’s Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS). PALS works with local jurisdictions throughout Maryland to identify projects and problems that can be taught through university courses where students focus on developing innovative, research-based solutions. The county is interested in knowing if spatial differences air quality were apparent during the early stages of the pandemic and if these observed differences can be linked to changes in vehicular traffic. If spatial variations in air quality exist, the county would like to know what Equity Emphasis Areas within the county were most impacted by the changes in air quality. Additionally, the county is seeking policy recommendations that will encourage automobile usage patterns similar to those observed in early stages of the pandemic. This report centers obtaining historical air quality data from multiple air quality stations, health implications associated with the air quality data, and conducting policy research that will guide the team in developing recommendations for Prince George's County.


Final project for ENSP 400: Capstone in Environmental Science and Policy (Fall 2020). University of Maryland, College Park.