N.M. Congressional Democrats Announce $545,099 In Inflation Reduction Act, American Rescue Plan Funding For New Mexico Air Monitoring Projects
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) announced $545,099 in federal funding under the Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan to enhance air quality monitoring in marginalized communities.
The Fiscal Year 2022 funding supported by New Mexico Congressional Democrats and awarded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is as follows:
- The Pueblo de San Ildefonso will receive $485,466 to install air monitors to measure the levels of pollutants and to monitor smoke and dust concentrations near the Pueblo. The data from these monitors will help with developing strategies to minimize residents’ exposure to harmful pollutants.
- The New Mexico Energy Department received $59,633 to monitor several pollutants in the Carlsbad area and study health impacts. Data will be used to determine appropriate, effective strategies to reduce emissions.
“Thanks to historic investments secured by Democrats in the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, New Mexico is on a path to enjoying cleaner and healthier air. That means fewer children with asthma and fewer seniors with breathing conditions,” said Heinrich. “Securing this federal funding for the New Mexico Environment Department will further our understanding of harmful air pollutants, allowing us to create better strategies to mitigate the impacts on public health and improve air quality. I’m also pleased to see these laws support the establishment of air quality monitoring programs for Tribes like the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, so that they too can reap the benefits of cleaner air.”
“Harmful air and pollutants are an environmental injustice that affects millions of Americans every day,” said Luján. “I’m proud to welcome this funding that will establish air quality monitoring to sensor the smoke and dust quality throughout New Mexico and the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Air quality monitoring is essential in protecting our communities from harmful pollutants by minimizing future exposure and health risks.”
“I’m excited to learn that the New Mexico Environment Department and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso will be awarded key funding for projects to conduct air monitoring in our communities, reduce emissions, and safeguard the health of our communities,” said Stansbury. “For far too long, Tribes, Pueblos, and historically underserved communities across our state have suffered the impacts of environmental pollution and poor air quality. I’m proud that the Inflation Reduction Act is supporting investments that will help us to protect our environment while decreasing pollution and protecting the health and wellbeing of our communities across New Mexico.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue plan are working in New Mexico. I am pleased to see these grants awarded to the state’s Environment Department and San Ildefonso Pueblo,” said Fernández. “Better air quality monitoring and data give us the solutions to reduce harmful pollution. This is how we keep our communities healthy and create a more prosperous future para todos. We will be seeing more awards benefiting New Mexico directly to protect our natural resources.”
Heinrich, Luján, Stansbury, and Leger Fernández fought to secure over $30 million in that Inflation Reduction Act that added to the original $20 million from the American Rescue Plan, which has allowed the EPA to double the number of projects by community-based nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and Tribal governments to conduct air monitoring in communities, particularly in communities that are underserved and historically marginalized.
“I’ve traveled across the country and visited communities who’ve suffered from unhealthy, polluted air for far too long. I pledged to change that by prioritizing underserved communities and ensuring they have the resources they need to confront longstanding pollution challenges,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The air monitoring projects we are announcing today, which include the first EPA grants funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, will ensure dozens of overburdened communities have the tools they need to better understand air quality challenges in their neighborhoods and will help protect people from the dangers posed by air pollution.”
“EPA has prioritized cutting harmful pollution in communities and this announcement delivers on that promise,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “We are pleased to award these grants to the state, local, tribal agencies and community-based groups to monitor air pollution in their areas. “This funding will allow vulnerable communities to have better data on toxic pollutants and allows for development on community led strategies that achieve healthy air quality.”