MyRWA awarded $499,979 EPA Grant
With the grant awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in November, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) will monitor air quality at community-identified locations in each of four cities. The monitoring efforts will provide data and information to increase community awareness, inform decision-making around transportation infrastructure and reduce exposures to harmful transportation-related particulate air pollutants, including PM10, PM2.5 and ultra-fine particles. MyRWA chose to work with the communities of Charlestown, East Boston, Everett and Malden as they are among the most burdened by transportation-related air pollution and disease in Massachusetts and have limited data on air quality in the community.
This work will be guided by a 12-member Community Advisory Board (CAB) and include extensive surveying and outreach to build capacity among residents who have been disproportionately impacted by poor air quality.
“Our organization uses a network of volunteer scientists to track environmental conditions, develop actionable data, and work with community partners toward clean water, restored habitat, and a healthy environment for people,” said MyRWA Executive Director Patrick Herron. “We are excited to continue this long tradition of engaging our communities to understand environmental pollutants, identifying the solutions to these environmental challenges and helping protect public health with this latest effort.”
The design of the air quality monitoring studies will be led by Dr. Neelakshi Hudda of Tufts University. The team will deploy a network of stationary monitors to measure PM2.5 and PM10 in all four communities this spring. Additionally, within each community, mobile monitoring will be conducted at up to seven locations (all seven with PM2.5 and PM10 monitors and three of seven with ultrafine particle number concentration measurements) that are selected by the community through extensive engagement. The results of the monitoring will be shared with communities to identify potential interventions.
Beyond Tufts University, AIR Inc., STEP, Cambridge Health Alliance, the City of Malden and the City of Everett will partner in this work.
About the Mystic River Watershed Association
MyRWA works to improve the lives of the more than 600,000 residents of Mystic River watershed communities through its efforts to protect and restore water quality, natural habitat and open space throughout the 76-square-mile watershed. The Mystic River watershed is in 21 communities: Arlington, Belmont, Boston (Charlestown & East Boston), Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lexington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Watertown, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn. For more information seewww.MysticRiver.org.