Free portable air quality sensors available for residents, businesses and schools in high-need Sacramento neighborhoods

City of Sacramento residents and businesses now can apply to receive a free portable Purple Air sensor as part of a pilot project aimed at enhancing air quality data in high-need neighborhoods. Schools located anywhere within the City of Sacramento also are eligible.

There are 100 sensors available under the project, which is a partnership between the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (Sac Metro Air District).

“By distributing these sensors and educating residents on how to use them, the City of Sacramento and the Sac Metro Air District are empowering our most vulnerable community members to better protect themselves from the negative health consequences of air pollution,” said Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem and Sac Metro Air District Chair Eric Guerra. “The data we collect will also provide a better understanding of the air quality challenges in our under-served neighborhoods and the ability to seek additional funding to address these challenges using real numbers.”

Supported by a one-time investment of the Sacramento City Council to advance the City’s near-term climate action priorities, the project also includes funding for innovative street-level monitoring and community outreach and education to help communities access and utilize the air quality data.

These sensors will help residents make decisions about everyday activities to protect their families’ health from air pollution. The project will also provide information to the public and policymakers to inform future decisions on climate action and reducing emissions.

“This is an exciting partnership to support our neighborhoods and collect data to help guide our efforts to reduce pollution,” said the City’s Climate Action Lead Jennifer Venema. “Sacramento has some of the most polluted air in the nation and equipping our neighborhoods to better understand local air quality is an imperative step in our environmental justice efforts.”

Those interested in applying can visit the City of Sacramento’s website at

Supplies are prioritized for high-need areas in the City of Sacramento including North Sacramento, South Sacramento and outside of Downtown/Central City. Recipients will be selected based on geography and other criteria to ensure equitable distribution among neighborhoods.

The application will remain open until all sensors have been allocated. Residents and businesses that apply by Jan. 6, 2023 will be notified in mid- to late-January if they have been selected. Subsequent awards will be made monthly until there are no remaining sensors.

The easy-to-install compact air sensors do not have cameras, or microphones and do not collect personal information.

For questions regarding the application or application process, please email

The Sac Metro Air District is working directly with public school districts located within the City of Sacramento to deploy portable sensors. School officials with questions about this project can email

Photo credit: Purple air sensor