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November 3, 2022

Pressley, MA Delegation Celebrate Delivery of More than $2 Million to Strengthen Air Quality in Massachusetts

BOSTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Environment and Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Bill Keating (MA-09), and Richard Neal (MA-01) issued the following statement celebrating the delivery of more than $2 million in Environmental Protection Agency funding for Massachusetts organizations to develop air quality monitoring projects in an effort to safeguard frontline environmental justice communities from the harmful impacts of air pollution.

The grants, designed to measure environmental and health outcome disparities, are part of a $53.4 million nationwide initiative funded through the Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan, and will more than double the number of air monitoring projects in local communities across the country. Massachusetts grant awardees include Health Resources in Action, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Inc., Mystic River Watershed Association Inc., City of New Bedford, and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

“Poor air quality is a systemic injustice rooted in climate change that disproportionally harms low-income communities and communities of color,” said the lawmakers. “These air monitoring grants are a down-payment on reducing health inequity and ensuring cleaner, healthier air for frontline environmental justice communities across Massachusetts. The Commonwealth’s community-based organizations receiving these funds will put them to good use improving public health and reducing harmful climate impacts in communities across Massachusetts.”

In July 2020, Rep. Pressley and Sen. Markey wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it to rapidly deploy mobile air monitors in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a majority minority community with a high population of immigrants.

In August, they secured a commitment from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 to their request for rapid deployment of air quality monitors in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The EPA committed to work with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) to monitor particulate matter emissions and overall air quality, related to both recent demolition activities and longstanding air quality concerns.