JCPH to receive grant funding to help address air quality information gaps in underserved communities
Jefferson County, Colo. — On November 3, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced [external link] Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) as one of seven Colorado groups to receive funding to conduct air quality monitoring across the state. Working in partnership with local community groups, JCPH’s program aims to create local air monitoring capacity for underserved communities in Jefferson County.
JCPH was selected to receive $225,954.25, which will be used to develop a program with local partners to install air monitors to track particulate matter, which is described by experts as the type of air pollution with the greatest impact on human health [external link] and the main pollutant emitted from wildfire smoke. The program will work to use the data gathered to create an easy-to-understand, public-facing dashboard and provide real-time, particulate matter measurements for the community.
“It is well established that underserved communities in Jefferson County are disproportionately impacted by of the effects of air pollution,” said Trenton Mitchell, Senior Environmental Health Specialist at JCPH. “This funding will help work to protect air quality in Jefferson County by installing air monitors and sharing the data gathered with our community. We want to create a local capacity for underserved communities in Jefferson County to monitor and address community air quality.”
The program, named the Jefferson County Love My Air (JCLMA) Initiative, will replicate and expand on Denver Department of Public Health and Environment’s (DDPHE) Love My Air Program [external link]. By entering into a License for Trademark Use Agreement and replicating DDPHE’s Love My Air Program, Jefferson County looks to adopt an air monitoring program that has demonstrated a high level of success.
JCPH intends to expand the reach of the program by including other community-based organizations as partners and establish a committee comprised of these organizations to ensure an inclusive and collaborative process. This committee will also provide community-wide trainings to host site communities to increase their capacity to address air pollution locally.
At this time, Jeffco residents can sign-up to receive air quality alerts from JCPH via text or email. On the NotifyMe webpage, scroll down to “Alert Center.” Select “Air Quality Alerts from Public Health” and enter your phone number and/or email address. Residents can also stay up-to-date on air quality concerns in the area by visiting the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website [external link] and the Regional Air Quality Council website [external link].
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.