EPA to grant Houston $500K for air monitoring in environmental justice communities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will provide a grant of nearly half a million dollars to the Houston Health Department to monitor air quality in environmental justice communities across the city. The three-year project will focus on monitoring four cancer-causing pollutants—1,3-butadiene, benzene, formaldehyde, and ethylene oxide—in areas that have been heavily impacted by industrial pollution. The grant will fund the installation of nine fixed air monitors and the use of mobile monitoring equipment on electric vehicles. Community members and third-party experts will collaborate on data collection and analysis, with the aim of establishing a baseline for air pollution concentrations and educating residents about potential health risks. The project will also provide valuable data for the EPA's permit reviews of industrial polluters. The involvement of community members is seen as crucial to building trust and addressing information gaps in Houston's most affected neighborhoods.