Nevada U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen provided a much-needed plan towards fixing the state’s pollution problem earlier this month, announcing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is putting $1 million towards building air quality monitor systems across the state. Federal funds for this project will draw from both the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan.
Nevada is the second most polluted state in the country when it comes to air quality, according to a recent ranking by U.S. News and World Report drawing from 2019 EPA data. Primary causes for air quality pollution in the state include wildfire smoke and the nature of the climate, which traps pollutants and prevents them from escaping into the atmosphere.
“You have cold air with warm air above it,” Matthew Strickland, an environmental epidemiologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, said. “And when that happens, the pollution that’s in the valley here, it doesn’t mix up into the atmosphere, and it stays down where we live and we breathe,” he continued.
“Nevada is facing worsening air quality as increased wildfires and carbon emissions pollute our air,” Sen. Rosen said in a press release. “I’m glad to announce Nevada will be receiving almost $1 million in federal funding to help Nevada’s communities better monitor air quality levels, address threats to worsening air quality, and help keep our air clean.”
In specific allocations, $494,000 will go to the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe for air monitoring systems and staff training, while $213,000 will go to the Washoe County District Health Department towards building air monitoring systems as well.
Elsewhere, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe is set to receive $150,000 for their air monitoring systems, while the Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley will receive nearly $100,000.