Durbin, Duckworth Announce Funding For Opportunity For Air Toxics Monitoring

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for grants to fund air quality monitoring projects to address localized air toxics issues. Durbin and Duckworth worked to include this funding in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill.

“I urge communities throughout Illinois to take advantage of this funding opportunity, particularly those with concerns about ethylene oxide and similarly harmful emissions,” Durbin said. “Senator Duckworth and I will continue fighting to ensure that Illinois has the federal resources needed to address hazardous materials and toxics that undermine the health and growth of communities." 

“No matter where they live or work, Illinoisans should never have to worry that the air they breathe might put their health—or the health of their children—at risk,” Duckworth said. “I will continue to work alongside Senator Durbin to secure resources needed to improve environmental justice and reduce health risks in underserved communities across Illinois.”

EPA anticipates awarding up to $5 million from this competition to fund projects that fall into four categories:

  • Characterizing the impacts of air toxics in a community (community-scale monitoring);
  • Assessing the impacts of air toxics emissions from specific sources (near-source monitoring);
  • Evaluating new and emerging testing methods for air toxics; and
  • Analyzing existing air toxics data and developing or enhancing analytical, modeling, and/or implementation tools.

Air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are linked to cancer or other serious health effects. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA regulates 187 listed air toxic pollutants. While grant applications may address any air toxic pollutant, air toxics of particular interest to EPA in this competition include ethylene oxide, chloroprene, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and metals such as hexavalent chromium, nickel and arsenic.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 30, 2020. For additional information, and to download the Request for Application, visit: https://www.epa.gov/amtic/community-scale-air-toxics-ambient-monitoring-csatam