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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester residents are being told they'll likely spot drones flying over the city this week.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has chosen Rochester to participate in a drone program with a series of demonstration flights this summer aimed at identifying urban heat islands and measuring temperatures in various parts of Rochester. Part of the pilot project will be identifying environmental justice areas of concern where the heat absorbed by buildings and roads can create pockets of higher temperatures in more urbanized parts of the community.

The information could be used to make planning decisions for investments aimed at addressing urban heat that could include planting trees and other vegetation and installing green roofs. A news release says the pilot project will focus on areas of the city with low tree canopy coverage and underserved populations.

Weather permitting, the drone flights are scheduled to take place on Wednesday between 11 AM and 5 PM. Flights are currently planned in the vicinity of 16th Street and 13th Streets Southeast. City officials are asking residents to avoid interfering with the drone operations.

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