Largest investment for community air monitoring in EPA history funded by President Biden’s Climate and Economic Plans
PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 3, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to receive $497,861 for a community air pollution monitoring project benefitting four communities in the state. The grant is 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, supporting President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative.
MDE will work with community partnerships in Cheverly, Curtis Bay, Baltimore and Turner Station to monitor and mitigate cumulative air pollution concentrations in those communities.
EPA also selected the non-profit Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP) of Claymont, Delaware to receive a $497,861 grant. SRAP’s project will provide air data of industrial poultry pollution and its effects on public health and the environment in Princess Anne, Somerset County, Maryland, and in Millsboro and Seaford of Sussex County, Delaware. Partners and citizen groups will use this information to create community-oriented solutions to improve public health outcomes for every stakeholder in the three communities.
“Funding for this project 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 the local economy.”
“Far too many of our communities have been denied the basic promise of clean air,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). “That’s why I fought for investments in the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act to address this environmental injustice, combat climate change, and improve our air quality. Projects like these will help do just that, and I’ll keep fighting for more resources to help all Marylanders breathe easier and live healthier.”
“Monitoring air pollution will inform and strengthen our efforts to protect clean air for all Marylanders, especially those disproportionately impacted by environmental contaminants,” said Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) “Team Maryland has long worked to improve air quality and protect public health in our state. With funding through the Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan, both of which I voted to pass in Congress, these air monitoring projects will help fight climate change and build back in an equitable way.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act builds on the historic success of the American Rescue Plan, revitalizing our public life across sectors—including our environmental impact and air quality,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). “I’m delighted that the EPA has granted funding through these pieces of legislation to both the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project and the Maryland Department of the Environment to monitor air quality and pollution in our state. With exciting collaborations like these, we can empower on-the-ground partners to succeed, mobilize government for the common good and create our sustainable green future.”
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.