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EPA provides grants to monitor air quality in 37 states : NPR


EPA Administrator Michael Regan stands near the Marathon Oil Refinery in Reserve, Louisiana, November 16, 2021. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday awarded grants for projects to air quality monitoring in 37 states.

Gerald Herbert/AP


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Gerald Herbert/AP

EPA provides grants to monitor air quality in 37 states : NPR

EPA Administrator Michael Regan stands near the Marathon Oil Refinery in Reserve, Louisiana, November 16, 2021. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday awarded grants for projects to air quality monitoring in 37 states.

Gerald Herbert/AP

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday awarded grants for air quality monitoring projects in 37 states, with a focus on minority communities and other pollution-burdened areas .

A total of 132 projects will receive $53.4 million to improve air quality monitoring near chemical plants, refineries and other industrial sites – part of a Biden administration pledge to focus on environmental justice in communities affected by decades of industrial pollution.

The grants are funded by the sweeping Climate and Health Act approved in August and the coronavirus relief package approved by Congress last year.

“This money is going where it’s needed most,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. The newly funded projects “will ensure that dozens of overburdened communities have the tools they need to better understand the air quality challenges in their neighborhoods and help protect people from the dangers posed by air pollution.” air,” he said.

Eight funded projects are in neighborhoods Regan visited on what he calls a “Journey to Justice” tour of communities plagued by long-term pollution.

“All people, wherever they live, deserve clean water and clean air and the opportunity to lead healthy lives,” said Regan, the first black man to lead the EPA.

The grants follow enforcement actions announced by Regan in January to carry out unannounced inspections of chemical plants, refineries and other industrial sites in three Gulf Coast states suspected of polluting air and water. and cause health problems to nearby residents.

Recipients include the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, a New Orleans-based advocacy group that has lobbied for stricter federal oversight of an 85-mile (137 kilometer) stretch from New Orleans to Baton Rouge officially known as the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor but more commonly known as Cancer Alley. The region contains several hotspots where cancer risks are well above levels deemed acceptable by the EPA. The group will receive nearly $500,000 to help community groups monitor their air quality and “become more active and effective in civic engagement,” the EPA said.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has received nearly $480,000 to establish and operate a temporary air monitoring site in St. James Parish, home to many petrochemical plants and refineries. The equipment will provide near real-time air quality data, the EPA said.

The state agency will also receive $422,000 to conduct air quality monitoring in the Alexandria-Pineville area between two wood treatment facilities.

The Louisiana Environmental Action Network will receive $500,000 to assess air quality throughout Louisiana’s Industrial Corridor, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will receive $500,000 to measure air pollution in the Cherokee community.

Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city by population, will receive $500,000 to monitor four hazardous air pollutants that pose risks to communities.


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