Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ID DEQ nabs $2.5 million EPA grant for West Silver Valley air quality improvement

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will receive nearly $2.5 million in EPA funding through the agency’s 2015 Targeted Air Shed Grant Program.

The DEQ will use the grant to promote air quality and reduce air pollution in West Silver Valley in northern Idaho. It will be used to implement plans developed by the West Silver Valley Air Quality Citizens Advisory Committee in cooperation with the DEQ. The organizations have been working together since 2014 to reduce emissions and particulate matter, making the air healthy enough for all community members.

Specifically, the funding will help with changing out woodstove, constructing wood-drying sheds and providing cleaner and more efficient fire logs during the winter. The grant will also go toward home weatherization, promotion of yard waste and logging debris removal as an alternative to burning as well as outreach and education efforts to sustain the program’s goals.

Particulate matter like that in West Silver Valley has been linked to a host of human health issues. Repeated exposure to the particles, which are roughly one-thirtieth the size of a hair, can cause increased hospital admissions for those with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and even premature death for those with heart and lung disease.

Organizations in this story

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality 1445 N. Orchard St. Boise, ID - 83706

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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