JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Real-time Air Monitoring Demonstration at JSU This Week

November 12, 2003 -- Pete Conroy, Director, JSU Environmental Policy and Information Center, along with Dr. Brent Olive, a colleague and University of North Alabama professor, are presenting a program in which they will be describing and demonstrating OP-FTIR (Open Path Fourier Transform Infrared) air monitoring technology. This technology has been cited by the National Research Council numerous times as a monitoring system that, “could operate continuously and have a response time on the order of 10 seconds or less” and “Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) multipass absorption technique, which should be capable of real-time (< 1 second) detection of high agent release levels.”

Just this week the U.S. Congress included a provision in the 2004 Defense Bill stating that the Army, “[s]hould deploy improved chemical agent monitors in order to ensure the maximum protection of the general public, personnel involved in the chemical demilitarization program, and the environment.”

The demonstration is presented on behalf of JSU, US Senator Richard Shelby, the Calhoun County Commission, and members of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission. It will take place on Thursday, the 13th of November at 10:00 a.m. in Lecture Room 234 in JSU’s Martin Hall (map link attached). It is expected to last approximately an hour and the public is invited to attend.

Sen. Shelby said, “I applaud Jacksonville State University, the Calhoun County Commission, and members of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission for hosting today's event.  They are doing a tremendous service to the community by describing and demonstrating this air monitoring technology.  The safety of Anniston and the surrounding community must be our paramount priority, and the study of this technology supports that purpose.”

Open path air monitors are currently being used by the military to monitor air on a real-time basis at sites where there is known presence of chemical agent.  Dr. Olive has extensive experience in using these monitoring systems as a weapons inspector for United Nations Special Commission on Iraq, where he was employed as a field analytical chemist.  His work included monitoring the air during chemical weapons destruction activities.  Dr. Olive also operated Op-FTIRs during the remediation of Formerly Used Defense sites in: Memphis, Tennessee; Ft. McClellan, Alabama; Ogden, Utah; and Spring Valley, Maryland.  These sites were cleaned up under the guidance of the Corps of Engineers out of Huntsville, Alabama.  In each case, Open-path FTIRs were used to determine the real-time presence of chemical agents such as sarin and mustard gas at the fenceline of the site.

For more information, contact:

Pete Conroy
Director, JSU Environmental Policy and Information Center
Telephone #256-782-5681

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