ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University of Albany has announced that they are receiving $1 million in support from the U.S. Environmental Agency to conduct community air quality monitoring projects. The funding will go to two research projects run by UAlbany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

To date, the EPA has awarded $53.4 million to 132 projects across the country through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan. Projects that receive funding focus on enhancing air quality monitoring in communities in areas that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution.

UAlbany was awarded nearly a third of the most recent EPA funding that was awarded to seven projects in New York. The funding will support the following projects:

  • $499,032 to create a New York Capital District communities air quality measurement network, which will be built based on low-cost sensors outdoor/indoor measurements, with K-12 schools serving as monitoring sites and supplemented by mobile lab measurements. The principal investigator is Jie Zang, a research scientist at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center.
  • $499,939 to improve air quality and public health across underserved neighborhoods in New York by leveraging low-cost sensor monitoring to determine air pollutant exposures and engage and empower community stakeholders. The principal investigator is Md. Aynul Bari, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental & Sustainable Engineering.

“We are proud to be selected as part of the EPA’s large investment in air quality monitoring projects across the U.S. that will help inform policy decisions and drive better practices for protecting vulnerable populations, including minority and low-income communities that face a disproportionate amount of pollution,” said Chris Thorncrof, Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center.