Dems Introduce $500 Million Air Quality Bill, Citing ProPublica Probe

"Lawmakers introduced a House bill to fund air monitoring after ProPublica highlighted pollution in its “Black Snow” and “Sacrifice Zones” investigations. The bill is nearly identical to one introduced in the Senate last summer."

"Three Democratic U.S. representatives introduced a bill last week that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to create a pilot program for air monitoring in communities overburdened with pollution. The program would have a $100 million annual budget over five years to allow local agencies to monitor the air quality in neighborhoods, block by block.

One of the lead sponsors, Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., cited ProPublica’s work on toxic air pollution as a factor motivating her introduction of the Environmental Justice Air Quality Monitoring Act. “I’m grateful for ProPublica’s work to expose the devastating consequences of air pollution, economic inequality, and environmental racism on vulnerable Americans,” Castor said in an emailed statement to ProPublica, after highlighting stories from our “Sacrifice Zones” and “Black Snow” series on social media.

“The data provided by ProPublica’s air pollution mapping tool and the Environmental Protection Agency demonstrates the urgent need to decisively address toxic air pollution that is putting Americans at greater risk for cancer and other harmful health outcomes,” Rep. A. Donald McEachin, D-Va., a co-sponsor of the bill, wrote in an email. “For too long, low-income communities and communities of color have borne the brunt of environmental degradation and injustice, and it must end.”"

Maya Miller, Lisa Song, and Ava Kofman report for ProPublica February 25, 2022.

Source: ProPublica, 03/01/2022