Lubbock Compact Wins Historic EPA Grant

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Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 6:30 PM CST
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Provided by Lubbock Compact

LUBBOCK, TX (NEWS RELEASE) - The Lubbock Compact Foundation is pleased to announce that, on Nov. 3, 2022, the Lubbock Environmental Action Project (LEAP) was named as an award recipient for $482,960 from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities competitive grant program. These funds will be used to conduct a three-year ambient air quality study—the first of its kind for our area.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected 132 ambient air monitoring projects across 37 states to investigate correlations between local health disparities and nearby emissions of potentially hazardous contaminants in the air.

The 3-year project proposed by Lubbock Compact will consist of installing air quality monitors across the entire Lubbock metro area, with particular emphasis in the NE quadrant of the city.

Year 1 will include deployment, community training, and collection of air quality data. Years 2 and 3 will continue monitoring activities but also include targeted investigations of any detected “hot-spots” where we will identify and characterize any potentially harmful airborne particulate matter.

This project follows up on the findings of a 2021 health disparity study by TTU Health Sciences Center (HSC) and Sam Houston State University (SHSU) titled “Geographic Disparity in Asthma Hospitalizations: The Role of Race/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Other Factors”. Using a decade of health data, this study identified substantially higher rates of severe asthma and respiratory illness for Lubbock residents, especially in NE Lubbock. Our project will conduct the recommended follow-up investigations.

Lubbock Compact has partnered with Dr. Karin Ardon-Dryer, a leading atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, to ensure data meets all scientific and regulatory standards. Additionally, we have partnered with local technical communicator Justin Hall to ensure that findings are presented to community stakeholders in understandable language and formats tailored to support any follow up, community-led actions.Over the next three years, our hope is that this project will provide actionable and useful data for Lubbock’s communities, schools, local hospitals, asthma/allergy doctors, local weather networks, regulatory agencies, public health department, businesses, policy makers and anyone else concerned with our local air quality.

Lubbock Compact would like to express our deep gratitude to our members, supporters, and community partners-without whom none of this would be possible.