U.S. EPA Announces Air Toxics Monitoring Grant Winners in California
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected two air toxics monitoring projects in California to receive grant funding under the Agency’s Community-Scale Air Toxics Ambient Monitoring program. Nationally, they are among 11 state and local agencies selected to receive grants. As EPA pursues its mission to protect human health and the environment, the Agency periodically awards these grants to help state, local and tribal air agencies conduct air quality monitoring projects to address localized air toxics issues. Air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are linked to cancer or other serious health effects. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA currently regulates 187 listed air toxic pollutants.
“The Trump Administration continues to prioritize partnerships with communities to improve air quality across the country,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We are pleased to award these grants to help state, local and tribal air agencies monitor for air toxics, which will help agencies identify areas of concern and take appropriate action.”
“These grants will help local air agencies in California conduct air quality monitoring to better understand air toxics in their communities,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “The projects were selected following a rigorous competitive grant process, and EPA is pleased to be able to support these worthy undertakings.”
The selected grant recipients in California and anticipated award amounts are:
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, $435,450 for quantifying benzene and mobile source air toxics in environmental justice communities.
South Coast Air Quality Management District, $749,624 for design and development of a mobile platform for higher frequency air toxics measurements, including evaluating the performance of a new continuous ethylene oxide monitor.
“This grant will allow South Coast AQMD to further advance our air monitoring capabilities by providing more comprehensive, hyperlocal data in real-time,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s Executive Officer. “These innovative mobile platforms can quickly provide critical information to communities about toxic air pollution in their neighborhoods.”
The 11 state and local agencies selected across the country to receive grants will conduct projects in these categories:
- Characterizing the impacts of air toxics in a community (community-scale monitoring);
- Assessing the impacts of air toxics emissions from specific sources (near-source monitoring);
- Evaluating new and emerging testing methods for air toxics
These grants will help monitor and provide important information to communities across the U.S. on air toxics, including ethylene oxide, chloroprene, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and toxic metals. The grants total $5 million. EPA anticipates providing selected agencies funding for their work in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
Funding for the grants comes from State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG) funding. Congress appropriates STAG funds for state, local and tribal air agencies to use in implementing and maintaining environmental programs. EPA announced the grants competition February 13, 2020. The Agency held two information sessions in February for agencies considering applying for the grants and extended the application deadline to May 1, 2020 because of the impacts of the COVID-19 response.
To learn more about the Community-Scale Air Toxics Ambient Monitoring grants, visit https://www.epa.gov/amtic/community-scale-air-toxics-ambient-monitoring-csatam