The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded grants for projects to monitor air quality in 37 states, with a focus on minority communities and other areas affected by pollution.
A total of 132 projects to improve air quality monitoring near chemical plants, refineries and other industrial sites will receive $53.4 million, a commitment from the Joe Biden administration to address environmental justice in communities disproportionately affected by decades of industrial pollution Is part of.
The grants are funded by a climate and health law passed in August and a coronavirus relief plan passed by Congress last year.
“This money is going where it’s needed most,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. The newly funded projects “will ensure that dozens of overwhelmed communities have the tools they need to better understand air quality challenges in their neighborhoods and help protect people from the dangers posed by air pollution,” he said. Told.
There are eight funded projects in neighborhoods visited by Reagan on a tour of pollution-stricken communities. Reagan, the first African-American head of the environmental agency, said, “Every person, no matter where they live, deserves clean water and clean air and a chance to live a healthy life.”
The grant follows actions announced in January to conduct unannounced inspections of chemical plants, refineries and other industrial sites in three Gulf of Mexico states that pollute the water and air and cause health problems for neighboring residents. is suspected.
Among the grant recipients is the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, a Louisiana-based advocacy group that has pushed for stronger federal oversight of the 85-mile (137-kilometer) stretch from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, officially known as the Mississippi River Chemical Project. Known as Corridor, but commonly called “Cancer Alley”.