The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for funding for air toxics monitoring projects under the Community-Scale Air Toxics Ambient Monitoring grants competition. As part of the Agency’s mission to protect human and environmental health, EPA periodically awards these grants to help state, local and tribal air agencies conduct air quality monitoring projects to address localized air toxics issues.
EPA anticipates awarding up to $5 million from this competition to fund projects that fall into four categories:
- Characterizing the impacts of air toxics in a community (community-scale monitoring);
- Assessing the impacts of air toxics emissions from specific sources (near-source monitoring);
- Evaluating new and emerging testing methods for air toxics; and
- Analyzing existing air toxics data and developing or enhancing analytical, modeling, and/or implementation tools.
Air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are linked to cancer or other serious health effects. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA regulates 187 listed air toxic pollutants. While grant applications may address any air toxic pollutant, air toxics of particular interest to EPA in this competition include ethylene oxide, chloroprene, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and metals such as hexavalent chromium, nickel and arsenic.
To receive the grants, applicants must be air pollution control agencies as defined by Section 302(b) of the Clean Air Act that also are eligible to receive grants under Section 105 of the Clean Air Act. Funding for the grants comes from State and Tribal Assistance (STAG) funding. Congress appropriates STAG funds for state, local and tribal air agencies to use in implementing and maintaining environmental programs.
Agencies applying for the air toxics monitoring grants may partner with or provide “subgrants” to other organizations for their monitoring projects. The Agency expects to award grants for 10 to 20 projects, depending on funding availability and the quality of applications received. The amount for each grant may vary; however, no grant may be for more than $750,000.