The Futures Institute

Air Quality Monitoring for Communities

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Air Quality Monitoring for Communities

About

The Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities Grant funds ambient air monitoring of pollutants of greatest concern in communities with environmental and health outcome disparities stemming from pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant will support community and local efforts to monitor their own air quality and to promote air quality monitoring partnerships between communities and tribal, state, and local governments.

Eligible Uses

Potential projects include: building capacity and knowledge of local-scale, real-time air quality; measuring levels of certain air pollutants; collecting data in situations where there is persistent and complex air pollution (e.g., wildfires); or advancing air monitoring system resiliency.

Grant Award

EPA anticipates awarding approximately 20-30 “small grants” ranging in value from $25,000 to $100,000 and 30-40 “large grants” ranging in value from $100,001-$500,000. 

Eligible
Recipients

States (including the District of Columbia), local governments, U.S. territories, Indian tribes, public and private hospitals and laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit organizations

Restrictions

Unknown

Due Date

March 25, 2022. This grant was funded through the American Rescue Plan and again through the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Agency

Department of the Interior (Environmental Protection Agency) 

Materials Needed

Unknown

Application Difficulty

Unknown

Evidence on Investments in Environmental Justice

Promoting environmental justice is central to improving safety in communities, as well as addressing long-standing racial inequities. Across the United States, many more people die each year from air pollution than from all homicides combined. Our poorest communities are those most exposed to climate-related disasters. Access to green spaces and restoring vacant land have all been shown to reduce many types of violent crime. Green jobs create financial security now while building environmental safety now and in the future.  These environmental investments have been shown to improve public safety. Improving air quality has been shown to decrease crime rates. And access to green spaces and restoring vacant land have all been shown to reduce many types of violent crime. 

The bottom-line is simple: investing in environmental goals can help advance racial and economic justice while also creating a more sustainable planet. 

Evidence on Investments in Health and Treatment

To implement community safety-focused programs, jurisdictions must have an adequate supply of peers and professionals who can provide voluntary, non-coercive services that support physical and mental health—and allow appropriate staffing for non-carceral crisis response and similar programs. Expanding access to basic health care has been found to reduce crime, as well as save money on legal system expenses. Research demonstrates that when the number of treatment facilities for substance use disorder increases, crime decreases in the same area. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and psychiatric treatment in particular, has been found to reduce violent crime. 

This effect is especially powerful when looking at youth. Increasing wraparound services in schools that treat physical and mental health in high risk areas have been shown to reduce juvenile arrests as well as child abuse cases. High quality afterschool programs that promote students’ health and development can reduce drug use and decrease arrests and other forms of criminal-legal involvement among children. Furthermore, early childhood intervention programs, as well as nutrition programs for newborns, are likely to reduce crime. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and to psychiatric treatment in particular, has also been found to reduce violent crime. 

Community safety cannot succeed without a robust, well-trained workforce of mental health and treatment professionals—not only because these services can reduce violence and harm, but also because physical and mental health are vitally important for safety itself. For too long, this country has taken a punishment and enforcement approach to how we address mental health, substance use, and related issues; the following investments, paired with further public health-centered policy changes, are a first step toward changing this paradigm. 

Grant Writing Resources

Grants.Gov Resources

Applicant Training Videos (step-by-step guide on how to find grants, set up an account on grants.gov, and submit an application)

Applicant FAQ page

Other Resources

Community Toolbox’s Applying For Grants Toolkit (Outline of process + example applications)

FAQs

Q: What is community safety? 

A: We use the term “community safety” as well as “non-carceral safety” to indicate an approach to reducing violence and harm that invests in people over punishment. This can include unarmed civilian first responders and community violence prevention, but must also center preventative and root-caused focused solutions such as investments in schools, healthcare, and the environment. These solutions not only create holistic safety by improving well-being, they have been directly tied to reductions in violence. 

Q: How do the grants in the American Rescue Plan and other recent bills fit into this database? 

A: This database contains grants contained both in specific legislation (like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, and the Inflation Reduction act) but it focuses primarily on grants funded annually through the federal budget process. Please see our resources specifically on ARPA and IIJA for more information on funding opportunities in those bills. 

Q: Where should I go if I have additional questions? 

A: Feel free to reach out to samwashington@civilrightscorps.org with questions or comments. If you’d like to suggest a grant, please fill out this form

 

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