To protect public and community health and the safety of workers on site, The Remediation Team, under the supervision and at the direction of the EPA, conducts an extensive air monitoring program designed and implemented by a third party, independent of the construction contractor. Fourteen (14) automated air monitoring stations have been placed along the canal to detect the presence of volatile compounds and particulate matter (dust). Urban settings like the areas surrounding the Gowanus Canal contain background levels of volatile compounds and particulate matter in the air regardless of the occurrence of remedial construction activities, and the monitoring takes into account these background levels. Volatile compounds and particulate matter include both man-made and natural occurring sources such as smog, paint, asphalt paving, vehicular emissions (diesel exhaust), and even vegetation (plants). The air monitoring stations measure concentrations of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. In the event that remedial activities result in levels of volatile compounds and particulate matter above pre-set levels, the construction team is alerted immediately so that we can investigate and address the elevated concentrations through a variety of established protocols. This process of investigating and addressing these issues serves to protect workers and surrounding communities. The air monitoring program is described in more detail in the Community Air Monitoring Program plan.