$53m in New Funding for Community-level Air Quality Monitoring Projects to Support Local Efforts to Measure Air Pollution

EDF statement from Sarah Vogel, Senior Vice President, Healthy Communities and Elena Craft, Associate Vice President, Climate and Health

November 3, 2022
Lexi Ambrogi, (973) 960-0073, lambrogi@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – November 3, 2022) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $53 million in funding for air quality monitoring for communities throughout the U.S., the largest such investment in EPA history. The new funds will be awarded to 132 communities across 37 states and will focus on communities that are overburdened by pollution, in support of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative. 

The air quality monitoring projects will be funded by more than $30m from the Inflation Reduction Act, which bolsters the $20m investment from the American Rescue Plan, enabling EPA to support 77 additional projects, more than twice as many air quality monitoring projects initially proposed by community organizations, state and local governments and Tribal governments. 

“This investment in community-level air quality monitoring is an important step toward providing communities with actionable data about what’s in the air they breathe. We applaud the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative for recognizing the importance of equipping communities with better data on local air quality and committing to move forward swiftly to ensure communities have critical resources in hand. 

“For far too long, communities of color and low-income communities have borne the brunt of harmful air pollution because of their proximity to highways, petrochemical facilities and other polluting industrial sources—a direct result of legacies of discriminatory land use, housing and transportation policies. These communities should be first in line to benefit from federal funds to strengthen our existing air quality monitoring system, and we must all work together to ensure the data these monitors produce leads to swift and decisive actions to reduce harmful pollution and protect public health.” 

  • Sarah Vogel, Senior Vice President, Healthy Communities  

“Communities like Pleasantville in Houston have always known that their air quality isn’t what it should be. They’ve smelled it, and they’ve tasted it. They’ve lost loved ones because of it. Too often, they’ve been left with uncertainty. Now, the Inflation Reduction Act is not only providing the long-term investments to power our lives with abundant clean energy and zero out the emissions destabilizing our climate and harming people’s health, it’s equipping even more communities in the short term with the tools and technology they need to know what’s in their air, empowering them to become change agents every single day.” 

  • Elena Craft, Associate Vice President, Climate and Health 

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