Castor, Blunt Rochester, Torres air quality monitoring bill is a step forward to help communities address long-standing inequalities

U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), and Ritchie Torres (NY) today introduced the Environmental Justice Air Quality Monitoring Act of 2022 that makes data from innovative air quality monitoring widely available hyperlocal air to help reduce the burden of pollution borne disproportionately by Black, Asian, Latino and Indigenous communities.

“While there is still a long way to go to address the systemic injustices associated with infrastructure development in this country, the Environmental Justice Air Quality Watch Act of 2022 recognizes the importance of providing communities with community-based data on harmful air pollution. Providing communities with insights that are both rigorous and actionable can help improve children’s health, address environmental justice issues, and support climate action now.

“We thank Speaker Castor, Rep. Blunt Rochester, and Rep. Torres for introducing the Environmental Justice Air Quality Watch Act of 2022 that would provide communities and state, local, and tribal governments tools across the country to better understand and describe air pollution and protect the health of residents. »

  • Heather McTeer Toney, Vice President, Community Engagement

The bill accompanies S. 2476, the “Environmental Justice Air Quality Monitoring Act of 2021,” introduced by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

Additional context:

The Environmental Justice Air Quality Watch Act of 2022 would dedicate $100 million a year to hyperlocal air quality monitoring. This would allow monitoring of criteria air pollutants, hazardous air pollutants and greenhouse gases at the neighborhood scale, to identify persistently high levels of air pollutants in environmental justice communities.* The projects funded would generate hyperlocal maps of air pollution and demographic characteristics. , providing data to community residents and local, state, tribal and federal air pollution managers.

*The term “environmental justice community” as defined in the Act means “a community with significant representation from communities of color, low-income communities, or tribal and indigenous communities that experiences, or is at risk of experiencing, human hazards higher or more harmful. health or environmental effects, compared to other communities.

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