January 14, 2022

Duckworth, Durbin, Markey Introduce Legislation to Improve, Assess, And Inform Federal Air Quality Management Strategies

Legislation would update and expand online tools, integrate technologies across scales, and inventory national infrastructure to improve air quality management


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) to introduce the Technology Assessment for Air Quality Management Act, legislation to authorize $55 million over five years for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to annually update and expand its online air quality toolbox with best-available monitoring technologies and associated uses of data, connect the toolbox with environmental justice mapping and screening tools, and create full-time equivalent positions to support the work. The legislation would also establish a working group consisting of representatives from EPA regional offices, air agencies, environmental justice networks, data science, and public health science to develop templates for integrated monitoring systems. In addition, it would direct the EPA and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an inventory of the locations and operation statuses of air monitors, existing data infrastructure, high-priority areas for monitoring deployment in environmental justice communities, and workforce needs to improve air quality management across scales.

“Communities of color and working families face public health challenges like exposure to air pollutants at alarming rates while too many in power look the other way,” Duckworth said. “I’m glad to join my colleagues on the Technology Assessment for Air Quality Management Act to help ensure that every American is able to breathe safer air regardless of their zip code, the size of their wallet or the color of their skin.”

“Our communities deserve clean air and a serious, coordinated effort to address the air pollution negatively impacting their environment. This is an issue of public health,” said Durbin. “As technologies are produced to better monitor and resolve air pollutants, we should institute this infrastructure in communities of need. I’m proud to support the Technology Assessment for Quality Management Act to offer new, more advanced tools to improve our state’s air quality.”

A copy of the bill text can be found HERE.