Biden administration announces $1.2M in grants for Utah air-quality projects

SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chose three Utah organizations to receive funding to carry out community-wide air quality monitoring in Davis and Salt Lake Counties.

In order to improve air quality monitoring in communities across the United States, President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan would provide $53.4 million to 132 air monitoring projects in 37 states.

“This funding will help address air quality information gaps in and near underserved communities in the Salt Lake Valley, providing community members with more data about the air they breathe,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker in a statement. “The data these projects produce will help Utah communities more closely evaluate potential pollution concerns and opportunities to address them.”

Today’s announcement includes funding for the following air monitoring projects in Utah:

  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality ($285,379) – Deployment of 40 particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) sensors in communities of Magna, West Valley, and target neighborhoods in northwest Salt Lake City, which are disproportionately affected by particle pollution because of their proximity to industry, diesel traffic, and the Great Salt Lake’s exposed lakebed. Community partners will guide all aspects of the project, including sensor siting, data collection, presentation of results, and community outreach.
  • Salt Lake County ($500,000) – Expansion of the eBus Air Quality Monitoring project, which utilizes air monitors on electric buses to measure fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone, and nitrogen oxide pollutants in underserved communities across west Salt Lake County. Grant funds will be used for the installation and operation of eight mobile air monitors to supplement the current fleet of three. Data from the project will be used to inform Salt Lake County’s efforts to improve air quality through the creation of a detailed pollution mapping system.
  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality ($499,208) – Enhancement of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) and volatile organic compound (VOC) monitoring in underserved communities in Davis and Salt Lake Counties along Utah’s Northern Wasatch Front through the use of mobile VOC monitoring stations. Data will be presented through a public-facing website with an interactive map that allows visualizations of the measurements and sampling routes, and information will be shared during periodic community meetings.

These grant selections further the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and Executive Order, which directed that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to overburdened communities that face disproportionately high and adverse health and environmental impacts.

By enhancing air monitoring and encouraging partnerships with communities, the EPA is investing in efforts to better protect people’s health, particularly those in underserved communities.

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