Today, the Biden administration announced $53 million in new funding for air quality monitoring for 132 projects across 37 states. The funds come from the American Rescue Plan and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). These resources will support community-level air monitoring projects in areas historically overburdened with pollution.
After the announcement, Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Terry McGuire issued the following statement:
“Sending air monitoring funds directly to communities impacted by toxic air pollution is a positive step toward ensuring that communities are better informed on the quality of the air they breathe. We thank the Biden administration for prioritizing air monitoring and quickly distributing funds to communities that need it the most.
“If we’re going to permanently address dangerous air pollution and remedy generations of environmental injustices, we need actionable data to better inform Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and safeguards and ensure vital clean air protections are in place for communities. As the administration considers how to spend the remaining air monitoring funds, we urge EPA to fulfill the goals of the 2022 Public Health Air Quality Act, on which the IRA’s air monitoring provision was partially based. Fulfilling these goals includes collecting data that will directly affect the level of clean air protections communities receive and supporting prompt updates to emission test methods. It also includes fenceline monitoring in EPA rules that will strengthen clean air and health protections for communities long overburdened by unsafe air and environmental injustices. This approach will better ensure that communities who have long faced the disproportionate impacts of exposure to toxic air pollution will have the necessary data not only to protect themselves and their families, but to ensure EPA issues national air standards that finally hold polluting industries accountable.”