Boston (November 3, 2022) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Environment and Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Bill Keating (MA-09), and Richard Neal (MA-01) issued the following statement celebrating the delivery of more than $2 million in Environmental Protection Agency funding for Massachusetts organizations to develop air quality monitoring projects in an effort to safeguard frontline environmental justice communities from the harmful impacts of air pollution. The grants, designed to measure environmental and health outcome disparities, are part of a $53.4 million nationwide initiative funded through the Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan, and will more than double the number of air monitoring projects in local communities across the country. Massachusetts grant awardees include Health Resources in Action, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Inc., Mystic River Watershed Association Inc., City of New Bedford, and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.
“Poor air quality is a systemic injustice rooted in climate change that disproportionally harms low-income communities and communities of color,” said the lawmakers. “These air monitoring grants are a down-payment on reducing health inequity and ensuring cleaner, healthier air for frontline environmental justice communities across Massachusetts. The Commonwealth’s community-based organizations receiving these funds will put them to good use improving public health and reducing harmful climate impacts in communities across Massachusetts.”
In July 2021, Senator Markey introduced the Environmental Justice Air Quality Monitoring Act, legislation authorizing $100 million annually to establish a five-year pilot program for hyperlocal air quality monitoring projects that would support communities impacted by environmental injustices.
"Historically marginalized and underserved communities have borne the brunt of environmental and health disparities for far too long," said Senator Ed Markey. "We can't manage what we don't measure—which is why I introduced the Environmental Justice Air Quality Monitoring Act. I am proud to have fought for critical green energy investments in the Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan, so the EPA can take action to develop air quality monitoring projects that will support our communities most at risk.”