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Region 5: Demonstration of Air Sensor Loan Programs for Rural Communities and Living/Nature Museums

2020 Regional-State-Tribal Innovation Projects

Many underserved communities are impacted by poor air quality. Use of low-cost air sensors can increase the public’s access to and understanding of air quality information. Air sensor loan programs designed for a variety of settings (e.g., urban, tribal and rural) and with a variety of loan structures (e.g., traditional libraries, botanical gardens, etc.) can empower communities to learn more about air quality and actions they can take to protect their health and the environment. 

This project will develop an air sensor loan program suitable for rural and geographically isolated communities in the U.S. upper Midwest – as a complement to STEAM/environmental education programs. EPA will partner with a variety of organizations including isolated cities or towns without access to university-based air monitoring programs, tribal environmental programs, and museums and conservation centers with accessible library and educational programs. This project will build off other EPA projects that field test air sensor loan programs with the goal of expanded demographic partners, deployment of different types of air sensors, and testing alternative program structures. Lessons learned will be added to the EPA Best Practices Guide for loan programs, currently under development by Region 9.

Partners: State, tribal and local government partners to be determined