EPA provides federal grants to local air monitoring projects throughout Colorado

Tri-County Health Department: $403,996

The local public health department will use the grant to expand an air monitoring network to measure particulate matter. Data will be shared on an online dashboard.

United Black Parents Foundation: $472,656

The Denver-based nonprofit will use the money to set up an air monitoring network in Aurora. Data on ozone, methane, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter will be shared via an online dashboard.

350 Colorado: $498,537

The climate advocacy group will use the funding to install air monitors near Bella Romero Academy’s 4-8 campus.

The school is near an active oil and gas site. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recorded high levels of carcinogenic benzene near schools in 2019. It then stopped surveillance near the school after deciding there was no continued threat to public health.

The Greeley-Evans School District rejected an offer to set up new monitors earlier this year, saying the data would not have been consistent with past air monitoring techniques.

Patricia Garcia-Nelson, 350 Colorado board member and mother of a student at Bella Romero Academy, said the new grant will allow the organization to hire Boulder Atmosphere Innovation Research LLC to establish a long-awaited air monitoring. Real-time data will be posted on a public web portal.

“Dozens of families petitioned, we wrote letters to shut down the wells or at the very least allow air monitoring on school grounds. When it comes to protecting our children, we don’t give up.

City of Fort Collins: $499,139

Fort Collins will deploy air monitors to measure airborne toxins near oil and gas operations in Larimer County and western Weld County. A mobile air surveillance van will further facilitate operations.

Culture: $500,000

Cultivando is a non-profit organization based in Commerce City that focuses on environmental issues and public health. Last year, he secured state funding to deploy air monitors in neighborhoods near Suncor’s Commerce City refinery. The new federal money will allow it to continue to operate these stations and deploy a mobile air monitoring van.

“We are delighted that these funds allow us to continue monitoring for another year,” said Olga Gonzalez, director of Cultivando. “We realized early on that a year would not be enough time to collect enough data to give us a clearer picture of the air pollutants released from the local Suncor oil refinery.”

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