The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Nov. 3 that $403,996 will be awarded to the Tri-County Health Department for their community air monitoring network.
“Tri-County Health …
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“Tri-County Health Department is excited to be awarded a grant from the EPA for $403,996 to continue and expand the Love My Air program across Adams and Arapahoe Counties,” Environmental Health Director Brian Hlavacek said.
The money comes from the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan. Tri-County Health Department is one of 132 air monitoring projects across the country that received funds.
According to a news release from the EPA, the chosen projects are in communities “that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution.”
Hlavacek said the department has 20 sensors that detect PM 2.5, which is particulate matter 30 times smaller than a strand of hair. With these funds, they hope to increase the amount of sensors to 26.
The pollutant lodges deep inside the lungs and causes severe health problems like asthma, chronic bronchitis and heart disease. Common sources include wildfires, construction, vehicle emissions and heavy industry.
The sensors are placed at a number of schools, libraries and parks. They track the data and those who host the sensors can use the data, possibly in programming or classes, or awareness.
They were initially funded in the fall of 2019 since air quality is a big concern. The idea was for the data to be available to residents and entities to eventually lead to informed decisions such as policy changes.
“We work regionally to try to get the education out there around air pollution,” he said.
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