Gov. Nixon announced local agencies received more than $2 million in subgrants for air pollution efforts

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-405 For Immediate Release: Oct. 28, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- Gov. Jay Nixon announced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded four subgrants to fund operation of air programs across the state. The grant award total of $2,329,399 is a combination of federal and state dollars. During tough economic times, this infusion of grant funding will help local agencies protect its citizens and the environment by performing various air pollution tasks.

The Department will award the subgrants to four local agencies to fund the day to day operation of air pollution control commitments in the state. The city of St. Louis Department of Health will receive funding in the amount of $888,278. The St. Louis County Health Department will receive $681,453. The Kansas City Health Department will receive $483,057 and Springfield-Greene County Health Department will receive the remaining $276,611. The local agencies will also provide match dollars to supplement these awards.

The local agencies will allocate the funds toward personnel costs, travel, supplies and equipment associated with performing air pollution control functions at the local level. Funding awarded to St. Louis locals include costs associated with operating ozone and particulate matter monitors used to measure air quality against the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This is of particular concern in the St. Louis area where air quality has yet to attain the eight-hour ozone standard. Springfield will also reallocate funding to an additional ozone sampler based on federal requirements due to its growing population.

In addition, Kansas City recently experienced violations of the eight-hour ozone standard. Contingency measures to reduce ozone precursors of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides have been enacted. If violations continue, other measures to address them will need to be considered.

Exposure to ground-level ozone, or smog, can attribute to health problems. Those who suffer from asthma, heart disease, emphysema and other respiratory diseases could experience increased breathing difficulty. Long-term exposure to high levels of ozone can even cause healthy adults to experience breathing difficulty, especially those who exercise or work outdoors.

Federal funds are passed through to the local agencies to perform commitments outlined in the State Local Agreement and the Department's agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These subgrants are awarded for the federal fiscal year 2009 to coincide with EPA's Performance Partnership Grant. These grants will fund local operation through September 2010.

The Department is committed to working closely with communities to assist with funding efforts that support air quality projects as well as provide a financial savings.

For more information concerning these subgrants or other air pollution issues, please contact the Department's Air Pollution Control Program at P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65101 or call 800-361-4827 or 573751-4817 or visit the Department's website at dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp.

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