WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded more than $50 million in grants under the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act to be used for air quality monitoring. These grants, including the first made by EPA under the Inflation Reduction Act, will support 132 projects across 37 states with an emphasis on helping historically marginalized communities.
“This is an important step toward achieving Congress’s objectives in the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, which include supporting and improving the existing air quality monitoring system and advancing environmental justice,” said Hayden Hashimoto, Associate Attorney at Clean Air Task Force. “EPA’s investment in the air quality monitoring system is long overdue. Over the years, funding for air quality monitoring has not kept pace with growth in the economy or the demands of public health and welfare, exposing alarming weaknesses in the system. We hope that the grants announced yesterday will allow EPA to make important progress on these issues.”
“Distributing these funds expeditiously to states, tribes, community organizations, and nonprofits will allow those entities to work on providing the tools, resources, and information required by communities across the country to better understand local air quality and pollution,” said John Graham, Senior Scientist at Clean Air Task Force. “The information gained from these projects could also prove useful to future policy measures and regulations intended to address air pollution. We are particularly pleased to see EPA’s emphasis on providing funding to communities that have been heavily burdened by pollution, including in Louisiana. Air pollution is an important environmental justice issue, and additional information about disparities in pollution burdens, particularly in low-income communities and historically marginalized communities, will allow the agency to address them more effectively.”
Last fall, CATF submitted a letter to Chairmen Tom Carper and Frank Pallone highlighting a report by the Government Accountability Office that identified at least three areas that require additional investment to provide more information about air pollution health risks: monitoring of local-scale and real-time air quality, air toxics monitoring, and upgrades to monitoring of persistent and complex pollution.
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.