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Pima County Receives Grant for Air Monitoring to Study Environmental Justice

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The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) has received a grant award, in the amount of $488,210 over three years, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities program. PDEQ will collaborate with three University of Arizona partners – Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center (A2DRC), and the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC), to deploy and operate low-cost outdoor air pollution sensors at Pima County Schools.

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Deploying additional air pollution sensors will improve exposure measurements of selected air pollutants in identified environmental justice locations. Based on data collected by these sensors, project partners will develop models to predict air pollution levels across the county and develop action plans for mitigation. PDEQ and the partner organizations will also use the data to develop modules to educate students for community science efforts. PDEQ and UA will host education sessions on air pollution and related health effects and the relationship between data and localized environmental justice issues identified by the students.

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