By Jigyasa Sharma,  Arnold Liyai, Glenn Ricart, Lee Davenport, Mari Silbey, and Lizzette Arias.

Through our air quality blog series, we have already shared insights on improving air quality monitoring, building strategies for using the data, and tips on leveraging the newest sensors. So, it is time to answer a fundamental question – how can a community find the funds to support this critical work? 

The communities interested in securing funding for air quality monitoring (actually for any type of funding) should first be aware that securing funding for community projects can be competitive and time-consuming. So persistence, patience, and even optimism are must-haves. Additionally, they should be prepared to engage with funding organizations and agencies and dedicate resources and time to figuring out their grant priorities and patterns. 

Current EPA Grants

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an open opportunity. These grants fund states, local governments, tribes, and territories to develop and implement plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution. Some of the eligible activities include: 

  • Modeling and analytical costs, including purchase or licensing of software, data, or tools
  • Studies, assessments, data collection, etc., needed to develop the required deliverables
  • Evaluation and metrics-tracking activities

Review Past EPA Programs

Communities interested in securing future funding for air quality projects can benefit from reviewing and studying past EPA programs too. Doing this can help leaders gain valuable insights into the agency’s programmatic priorities and values. Here is a list of past programs to review:

  • Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring Funding – This program funded 132 air monitoring projects in 37 states in 2022, with $53.4 million going toward enhancing air quality monitoring in communities that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution.
  • Air Pollution Monitoring ($117.5 Million) – Competitive grants for community monitoring and expanding Tribal monitoring capacity as well as improvements and modernization to monitoring programs for common air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter and expand air toxics monitoring sites.
  • Clean Air Act Grants ($25 Million) – Grant to support efforts by air pollution control agencies and other organizations to partner with EPA to deliver cleaner air through programs that address air quality, transportation, indoor air, and climate change.
  • Air Sensor Loan Program ($3 Million) To support the purchase of air quality sensors for use in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including through grants and regional sensor loan programs.

Reach out to us!

The process of identifying and vetting funding sources can be overwhelming. So, if your community is interested in learning more about air quality sensors and how to begin a low-cost monitoring system, contact us at [email protected].

New York City skyline with the sun in the distance. Photo by Ahmer Kalam