Have you ever considered about that long line of cars waiting outside of your neighborhood's school at around 3 PM? Pick up time can mean anywhere from 10 to 50 cars idling for up to an hour. How does this impact the air quality around these areas?
"Air pollution is not limited by borders. We can't really address air quality in one specific spot, we need to address air quality as a whole," says Michael Ogletree, Air Quality Program Manager for the City of Denver. The air we breathe doesn't just stay in one area of town, or even in the same state - and neither does the pollution we emit. According to the CDC, 26 million Americans (8% of the population) have a chronic breathing condition and 2 million people visit the emergency department for asthma each year.
Now imagine that there was a way to monitor air quality in and around public schools so that teachers, administrators, and even students would be able to evaluate the health risks at any given time. The City of Denver is doing just that.
(Photo via 9News)
“While multiple factors influence a child’s exposure to air pollution, schools are an ideal intervention point for education and empowerment,” states Ogletree. Denver is using real-time, GPS-enabled air-quality data-monitoring systems that use new air pollution sensor technology. From this data, individuals with breathing conditions could take measures to limit exposure to poor air quality - possibly preventing asthma attacks and emergency room visits altogether. Communities can take action and inform policy decisions with this health, environmental, and economic data.
Denver hopes to expand their air quality stations over the next four years. The city was awarded a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Initiative – a nationwide competition that encourages city leaders to uncover bold, inventive ideas that confront the toughest problems cities face. To find and manage this grant, as well as other grants, Denver uses eCivis, a grant management software. eCivis now includes revenue recovery using indirect cost rates and cost allocation plans.
Congratulations to the City of Denver on their grant win and for the incredible steps they are taking to clean up their air quality!