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Region 10: Demonstration of a Tribal Air Sensor Loan Program

2020 Regional-State-Tribal Innovation Projects

Communities in the Pacific Northwest that are near or on tribal lands continue to experience poor air quality during wildfire season, outdoor burning periods and residential wood heating season. EPA is now working to demonstrate air sensor loan programs in a variety of settings (e.g., urban, tribal and rural) and with a variety of loan structures (e.g., traditional libraries, tribal environmental programs, museums, conservation centers, etc.) to help communities to learn more about air quality and actions they can take to protect their health and the environment. 

This project will create an air sensor loan program for airsheds that are at risk of exceeding the particulate matter (PM) air quality standard and that include underserved tribal communities. The availability of low-cost air sensors for community use provides an opportunity to engage and empower the public to learn about air quality science, gain an understanding of PM pollution and associated health risks, and learn to interpret data. Loan programs also help build capacity and expertise in air quality sensor use. While not applicable to regulatory decision-making, this project will strengthen the network of citizen science air sensor users and will inform the planned EPA best practices guide for air sensor loan programs being developed by R9. 

Partners: 1) Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Okanogan River Airshed Partnership, and The Methow Valley Citizens Council; 2) The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Heritage University, and Yakima Valley Air Quality Partnership; 3) The Klamath Tribes; the Burns Paiute Tribe; the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Oregon Tribal Health Services; and 4) the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and the Saint Maries PM Advance Partnership.