Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Cleveland Department of Public Health will receive $500,000 in grant funding to enhance air quality monitoring. This grant is 1 of 132 air monitoring projects in 37 states that will receive $53.4 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan to enhance air quality monitoring in communities across the United States. The projects are focused on communities that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution, supporting President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. The air monitoring projects will ensure these overburdened communities across the nation have the tools they need to better understand air quality challenges in their neighborhoods and will help protect people from air pollution.
“This grant funding will support our development of a Community Leveraged Expanded Air Network in Cleveland (CLEANinCLE) that will allow our team of partners to expand our air monitoring network into historically redlined Cleveland neighborhoods that are still experiencing negative health outcomes,” says David Hearne, Commissioner of the Division of Air Quality. These communities present with poorer health outcomes, including diabetes, hypertension and pediatric asthma, and have been disproportionately impacted by COVID‐19.
Community members will participate in the meaningful design of an expanded air‐monitoring network through public forums, the establishment of a resident advisory committee, and through a series of residential interviews. Project outcomes will include public engagement with marginalized communities, expanded air monitoring networks informed by the community, increased data/access, and public health interventions.
The data obtained in this project will be used to inform local medical providers on the barriers residents are experiencing to asthma management, which will enable the development of neighborhood specific communications to asthma management. Dr. David Margolius, Director of the Cleveland Department of
Public Health says, “We are thrilled to receive this support from the US EPA and to have the opportunity to engage with the community with the end goal of reducing health disparities.” Cleveland Department of Public Health will partner with Better Health Partnership, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, and Ohio EPA.