Largest investment for community air monitoring in EPA history funded by President Biden’s Climate and Economic Plans
(PHILADELPHIA) Nov. 3, 2022 – Six communities in West Virginia will benefit from the work of two non-profit organizations selected for funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct community air quality monitoring. The grants are among 132 air monitoring projects in 37 states which will receive $53.4 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan to enhance air quality monitoring in communities across the United States.
The projects are focused on communities that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution, in order to support President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative.
FracTracker Alliance, headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will receive a $495,301 grant for its project to conduct air monitoring in Brooke, Hancock and Marshall Counties in West Virginia. The project will expand an ongoing community-science project that uses low-cost monitors to provide real-time data for a variety of pollutants in an ongoing effort to improve air quality in the Ohio Valley region.
Appalachian Voices, which has offices in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, is receiving a $118,297 grant for a citizen science-based project to monitor for particulate matter in McDowell and Raleigh Counties and Institute, West Virginia. Other underserved communities in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia are included in the monitoring project.
“Funding for these projects will finally give communities, some who for years have been overburdened by polluted air and other environmental insults, the data and information needed to better understand their local air quality and have a voice for real change, ” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “This air monitoring work will also be useful as communities and local leaders work to revitalize neighborhoods and grow their local economy.”
The air pollution monitoring projects are made possible by more than $30 million in Inflation Reduction Act funds, which supplemented $20 million from the American Rescue Plan and enabled EPA to support 77 additional projects, more than twice the number of projects initially selected for funding.
These grant selections further the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and Executive Order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which directed that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to overburdened communities that face disproportionately high and adverse health and environmental impacts.