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EPA awards $399K to State of Colorado for Denver air monitoring project


Partnership project with CDPHE and Denver Environmental Health will focus on Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods

Richard Mylott, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6654
Kyle Olson, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6002
Gordon Pierce, CDPHE, 303-692-3238

(Denver, Colo. - October 8, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) a $399,000 grant to conduct air toxics measurement in environmental justice communities adjacent to the I-70/I-25 freeway interchange area in the Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods of Denver. The grant, awarded through EPA's Community Air Toxics Monitoring program, is among $4,000,000 provided to more than a dozen projects through a national competition.

"Local participation in environmental decision-making is critical to building healthy communities," said Shaun McGrath, EPA's regional administrator in Denver. "This project will address community concerns about air quality in north Denver neighborhoods and will generate data that will help us understand and reduce exposure to hazardous air pollutants."

CDPHE will use the EPA grant to work with the City and County of Denver and the Department of Environmental Health to conduct the project, which will develop information about hazardous air pollutants and exposure near the Interstate 25 and Interstate 70 interchange in downtown Denver. While overall emissions of air toxics from vehicles has declined in recent years, nearby communities are disproportionately impacted by emissions from the freeways, which collectively transport more than 400,000 vehicles each day, as well as from nearby industrial sources. The project will monitor levels of specific air toxics and build a baseline to compare future construction and highway development and inform potential mitigation measures to reduce concentrations and exposure to toxic pollution. Globeville, Elyria and Swansea contain significant low-income and minority populations.

"This is an exciting opportunity to increase our understanding of an important public health issue," said Martha Rudolph, director of environmental programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "We look forward to working with the City and County of Denver on this project to assess air pollution levels and to provide the local community with up to date and relevant information."

EPA's Community Air Toxics Monitoring grants support projects that assist state, local and tribal communities in identifying and profiling air toxics sources, characterizing the degree and extent of local air toxics problems, and tracking progress of air toxics reduction activities. Expected outcomes of these projects are increased state, local and tribal agency ability to characterize the sources and local-scale distribution of hazardous air pollutants, and assess human exposure and risk. These increased capabilities are expected to increase public and industry awareness and actions to adopt control measures that reduce emissions and public exposure.

For more information visit: http://www3.epa.gov/ttnamti1/local.html