WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) today announced $497,861 in Inflation Reduction Act funding to develop a comprehensive, community-driven strategy to identify and combat air pollutants that cause health disparities and achieve environmental justice in three historically underserved Maryland communities.
The federal funding was awarded to the Maryland Department of Environment to identify the most threatening pollutants in Cheverly, Curtis Bay and Turner Station – communities that have experienced environmental and health disparities due to pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Department of the Environment will work with community partners to install a hyper-local network of sensors to monitor air quality in these communities, and use data collected and community recommendations to implement pollution exposure and risk reduction measures like trainings, action plans to mitigate pollution, and community workforce development groups.
“For too long, low-income and minority neighborhoods have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution and its resulting health and environmental harms,” said the lawmakers. “This funding will help improve resident health and balance the scales of environmental justice by identifying and addressing head on the policies and pollutants that prevent access to cleaner air so we can end years of unjust practices.”
The state is providing an additional $55,137 as voluntary cost share for the project, bringing the total funding to $552,998.
The Inflation Reduction Act makes the single largest investment in climate and clean energy in American history. Funding enables America to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and secure our position as a world leader in domestic clean energy manufacturing, putting the United States on a pathway to achieving the Biden Administration’s climate goals, including a net-zero economy by 2050.