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EPA Announces Almost $500,000 Award to PA DEP for Air Monitoring Project Around Allentown | WDIY Local News

Pawel Czerwinski

A state agency will receive almost a half-million dollars in federal funding to monitor air quality in the Lehigh Valley. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that more than $4.27 million in funding for monitoring air quality in communities will go to 11 projects across Pennsylvania.

In a release, the EPA said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is among the recipients, with DEP being awarded $499,870 for a partnership with Lehigh University and Allentown communities to understand air pollutants in neighborhoods and near sources.

The project will conduct air monitoring, identify likely sources of pollutants and community health concerns, and work with the local community on activities that diminish health risks from air pollution, among other goals.

According to the release, the funded projects are focused on communities that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution. Overall, 132 air monitoring projects in 37 states will receive $53.4 million from the federal Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan.

The EPA also said the grant selections further the goals of one of President Joe Biden’s executive orders, which established the Justice40 Initiative.

The initiative calls for 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments go to communities which face disproportionately high and adverse health and environmental impacts, according to the White House.

(Original air-date: 11/3/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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