FracTracker Receives Two Federal Grants to Support Community Air Monitoring Initiatives in the Ohio River Valley
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We are pleased to announce that FracTracker Alliance has been selected for two grants totaling $925,302 to support community air monitoring initiatives in the Ohio River Valley with the support of multiple partner organizations.
These projects are one of 132 air monitoring projects in 37 states that will receive $53.4 million from the EPA as part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan to enhance air quality monitoring in communities across the United States.
“The massive shale gas buildout has spiderwebbed around us, and yet no one has even considered any cumulative impacts,” said Cathy “Cat” Lodge, a Washington County, PA resident. “We hope this project can help bring much needed attention to what we are being exposed to as the march of this polluting industry continues to take a toll on our communities, our farms, and our health.
Lea Harper of FreshWater Accountability Project and community science lead for the ongoing Thriving Earth Exchange project for air monitoring in the mid-Ohio Valley region stated, “What we have found so far from our low-cost air monitors combined with summa sampling shows high levels of spikes in harmful chemicals and concentrations in the valley that could impact public health. This project award demonstrates that the Biden administration and USEPA want better protections for those living with a legacy of heavy pollution overlaid by the cumulative impacts of unconventional oil and gas development in the region. We hope our ongoing efforts bolstered by this grant will lead to improved legal protections.”
“Heavily industrialized communities in the Ohio River Valley have some of the lowest-ranking health indices in the nation, in part due to poor air quality,” said Shannon Smith, Executive Director of FracTracker Alliance. “Over the past few years, residents have taken it upon themselves to set up monitoring systems with the means available to them. By selecting this project, the EPA is acknowledging the importance of expanding on these monumental efforts to better understand and protect public health.”
Please find more information in the two announcements below.