EPA Region 10 Sensor Loan Project in Tribal Communities
From Amanda Kapp
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EPA Region 10 partnered with three tribal serving programs to start sensor loan programs, providing 15 PurpleAir low cost sensors and air quality curriculum. Partners include the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, Heritage University located on the homeland of the Yakama Nation in South-Central Washington State, and the Tribal Air Monitoring Support Center based in Nevada and who serves over 298 tribes. Each site developed a program tailored for their unique tribal community, with the common goal of reducing the health impacts and cultural costs of poor air quality by improving their community’s access to relevant air quality information.
This presentation will provide an overview of two of the Tribal Community Sensor Loan Programs - Nez Perce and Heritage University. The focus of the Nez Perce program is to provide communities with air quality information via the community libraries, including establishing an air quality flag program. The Heritage University program focuses on addressing barriers to equitable air quality monitoring on the Yakama Nation in partnership with the Yakama Nation Cultural Center library where the air quality loan program is housed. Together with high school students in the EnvironMentors program at the Yakama Nation Tribal School, a solar-power system for the sensors was developed that can be used in rural areas without electrical connections. The Program aims to reach the Tribal members and inform them of the importance of the quality of the air we breathe and potential health impacts.