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U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) Aims for Improved Indoor Air Quality with Further Funding

Key Points:

  • EPA to award $2 billion in latest grants for environmental and climate justice projects, such as reducing indoor air pollution

  • Indoor quality air monitoring systems can be a cost-effective way to help monitor a building’s indoor air health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is now accepting applications on a rolling basis for its new Community Change Grants program – the “single largest investment in environmental justice going directly to communities in history,” according to an EPA press release. Launched this past November under the Inflation Reduction Act, the $2 billion in funding supports projects that enable communities to be better prepared for climate impacts and advance clean energy. Eligible projects include those that prevent, monitor, remediate, and reduce indoor air pollution.

 

Community Change Grants Program Overview

An illustration of a school classroom.

Full guidelines about this funding opportunity can be found on EPA’s website. Key highlights of eligibility include:

  • Benefiting disadvantaged communities facing disproportionate and adverse health, pollution, and environmental impacts

  • Being a community-based non-profit organization or non-profit partner (school districts are included)

  • The deadline to apply is November 21, 2024

Improving Indoor Air Quality

In addition, grant applications must address at least one climate action strategy and pollution reduction strategy. For example, a supported project may include improving a school’s indoor air quality by installing, upgrading or replacing its HVAC or filtration systems, according to the Community Change Grants Notice of Funding notice.

This strategy also supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) building ventilation guidelines that recommend upgrading to MERV-13 filters in HVAC systems. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) report a filter’s ability to capture particles. Filters with MERV-13 or higher can trap smaller particles.

Other EPA Grants

The Community Change Grants complements other programs the EPA has launched and total approximately $25 million. These grants include addressing indoor air and the additional $3 million earmarked for the purchase of air quality sensors for use in low-income and disadvantaged communities through grants and regional sensor loan programs. Low-cost, portable air quality sensors can quickly detect and measure indoor and outdoor air pollutants.

Measuring Indoor Air Quality

Installation of air quality monitors for indoor use, like the one designed by Zeptive, can provide valuable and accurate information regarding the health of a building’s ventilation.

These devices assess key air quality measures such as:


  • Air changes per hour: How quickly outdoor air replaces the air in a room; the CDC recommends aiming for five or more air changes per hour

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels: The amount of exhaled air in a space; this helps gauge how stale or fresh the air is and is a good proxy for how well the ventilation system works

  • Particulate matter: Refers collectively to various particles found in the air, such as dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets; measuring particulate matter is a good proxy for how well a filtration system works


Monitors can help optimize the adoption of ventilation and filtration equipment, like portable air filters, and confirm the equipment continues to operate efficiently. Learn More About Zeptive's Indoor Air Quality Monitors

Consider Zeptive's indoor air quality monitors as a reliable solution that is easy to install, tamper-proof, highly accurate, and adaptable. Reach out to our sales team at sales@zeptive.com to learn more on how you can utilize your funding to purchase our air quality monitors today. By Linda Antinoro Reviewed by Cindy Bistany, DHSc References

1. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2023, November 21). EPA. Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2 Billion to Fund Environmental and Climate Justice Community Grants as Part of Investing in America Agenda. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/biden-harris-administration-announces-2-billion-fund-environmental-and-climate-justice


2. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2023, December 21). EPA. Inflation Reduction Act Community Grants Program. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/inflation-reduction-act/inflation-reduction-act-community-change-grants-program


3. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2023, December 21). EPA. Community Change Grants Notice of Funding Opportunity. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-11/epa-community-change-grants-notice-of-funding-opportunity-november-2023.pdf


4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2023, May 11). CDC. Improving Ventilation in Buildings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/Improving-Ventilation-in-buildings.html


5. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2023, May 25). EPA. Delivering Cleaner Air. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/inflation-reduction-act/delivering-cleaner-air


6. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2023, July 13). EPA. EPA Grantees Advance Use and Applications of Air Monitoring Sensors to Protect Public Health. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/epa-grantees-advance-use-and-applications-air-monitoring-sensors-protect-public

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