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EPA Awards Vermont DEC more than $263,000 to Improve Air Quality

08/16/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $263,581 to the State of Vermont to improve air quality. Funding was provided to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to support air monitoring to measure the particulate matter in the air by collecting high quality data to demonstrate that the area is within the federal air quality standards for particulate matter, also known as PM 2.5.

"Elevated levels of fine particulate matter in the air can pose health concerns for the people of Vermont," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "In partnership with the state, these funds are used for monitoring across the state, which helps us find out if we are meeting standards and what we can do to help us all breathe more easily."

Vermont does not currently exceed EPA's health based standard, but sometimes measures elevated concentrations, particularly in valley locations in the winter.

"Vermont is well known for its clean air, healthy environment and natural resources that are enjoyed by many residents and visitors. One of the ways we can protect and enhance this environment is through scientific monitoring to ensure we have the data necessary to inform our actions. We're grateful for this federal funding that assists our efforts to monitor air conditions to ensure that Vermonters and our visitors enjoy excellent air quality at work and at play," said Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Emily Boedecker.

Meeting the health based standard nation-wide would prevent at least 15,000 premature deaths; 75,000 cases of chronic bronchitis; 10,000 hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular disease; hundreds of thousands of occurrences of aggravated asthma; and 3.1 million days when people miss work because they are suffering from symptoms related to particle pollution exposure each year.

EPA's most recent air trends report highlights that, between 1970 and 2017, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 73 percent, while the U.S. economy grew more than three times. A closer look at more recent progress shows that between 1990 and 2017, average concentrations of harmful air pollutants decreased significantly across our nation:

  • Sulfur dioxide (1-hour) ↓ 88 percent
  • Lead (3-month average) ↓ 80 percent
  • Carbon monoxide (8-hour) ↓ 77 percent
  • Nitrogen dioxide (annual) ↓ 56 percent
  • Fine Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 40 percent
  • Coarse Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 34 percent and
  • Ground-level ozone (8-hour) ↓ 22 percent

EPA continues to work with states, local governments, tribes, and citizens – to further improve air quality across the country for all Americans.

More information:

EPA's Air Trends report includes interactive graphics that enable citizens, policymakers, and stakeholders to view and download detailed information by pollutant, geographic location, and year. Explore the report and download graphics and data at: https://gispub.epa.gov/air/trendsreport/2018/

Learn more about fine particle air pollution: https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/particulate-matter-pm-basics