Cooperative Agreement Funding for Indoor Air Quality
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National Indoor Environments Program: Reducing Public Exposure to Indoor Pollutants
The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), Indoor Environments Division (IED) issued a Request for Applications (RFA) on June 28, 2020, with a deadline of September 15, 2020 to solicit proposals aimed at reducing risks to public health from pollutants in indoor air. Pollutants commonly found in homes, schools, offices, and other large buildings include radon, environmental asthma triggers, mold and other biological contaminants, secondhand smoke, particulate matter, and chemicals.
After conducting a competitive evaluation process, five organizations were selected for funding through three-year cooperative agreements to be implemented on a national scale. EPA has provided a total of approximately $1M to fund these projects in the first year. The following are brief descriptions of the selected cooperative agreements:
Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
The Kansas State University (KSU) is a public, land-grant institution of higher education, and an original member of the EPA-founded Regional Radon Training Centers. KSU will provide support to state and tribal radon programs by operating a radon hotline that provides technical assistance and other radon guidance to 15,000 persons annually, selling over 6,000 radon test kits annually to the general public to facilitate radon action, and hosting a website servicing 200,000 unique visitors annually.
American Lung Association, Washington, DC
The American Lung Association (ALA) is the leading organization that works to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. Since 2013, ALA has led the National Radon Action Plan (NRAP) Leadership Council whose members represent government, non-government, and industry organizations in the development and implementation of the NRAP. The Council moved the nation closer to meeting the NRAP’s 2020 goal of reducing radon risk in 5 million homes and save 3,200 lives.
Public Health Institute-Regional Asthma Management and Prevention, Oakland, CA
The Public Health Institute (PHI) generates and promotes research, leadership, and partnerships to build capacity for strong public health programs. PHI’s Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) project promotes comprehensive strategies for reducing asthma and asthma disparities that include clinical management and environmental protection. PHI-RAMP will conduct a project on “Expanding Systems to Sustain In-Home Environmental Asthma Interventions”. This project will 1) increase the number of state environmental, public health, and Medicaid programs working collaboratively to support in-home asthma interventions; 2) increase the number of health plans serving Medicaid populations that reimburse in-home interventions; and 3) build state, tribal, and local capacity to deliver and sustain in-home environmental asthma interventions through technical assistance and training.
Indoor Air Quality
Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC
The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is an internationally recognized, non-partisan research and education center that works to strengthen environmental protection by improving law and governance worldwide. The Institute advances innovative and practical solutions to environmental challenges and produces research reports and policy recommendations. ELI will conduct a project “Advancing Policies and Programs to Reduce Indoor Air Risks: Education, Outreach, and the State IAQ Workshops”. ELI aims to address indoor air contaminants holistically and to increase the capacity of state programs to comprehensively address IAQ in homes and schools. ELI aims to advance state and local IAQ policies and programs that incorporate best practices consistent with EPA guidance. ELI will accomplish this by developing and providing clear and practical information that: explains the policies that states and localities have enacted to date; highlighting policy models that incorporate best practices consistent with EPA guidance; and recommending a range of policy and program strategies for filling the gaps and strengthening risk reduction. The information ELI provides will be used by a wide range of stakeholders working to strengthen IAQ policies and programs, including policymakers, agency officials, national organizations, and community advocates.
National Center for Healthy Housing, Columbia, Maryland
The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming lives by transforming housing. A highly regarded and credible change agent, NCHH successfully integrates healthy housing advocacy, evidence-based research, and community capacity building to reduce health disparities nationwide by addressing their root causes. NCHH knows that better housing for all means better health for all and intentionally works to bridge the divide between housing and health to solve critical environmental health and societal problems and catalyze systems change in low-income communities. NCHH will partner with EPA to operate as a central knowledge base and provide flexible technical assistance to support communities in taking systems-level action to reduce indoor air risks.
These cooperative agreements began in 2017 and ended in 2021. These projects are dedicated to improving indoor air quality and educating Americans on how to reduce the environmental risks of indoor contaminants.