The BlueGreen Alliance Responds to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Request For Information on Funding to Address Air Pollution in Schools
We are pleased to offer comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Funding to Address Air Pollution in Schools, which is an opportunity—especially for school buildings in disadvantaged communities—to protect and improve people’s health while optimizing opportunities for quality job creation. This is aligned with the Justice40 initiative to ensure federal investments benefit disadvantaged communities as well as the Good Jobs Initiative that calls on all federal agencies to create good, quality jobs.
The $50 million that is available to address air pollution in schools can play a vital role for public schools in disadvantaged communities to address health and safety concerns while simultaneously improving energy efficiency. In the United States, 1 in 6 people in the United States—including K-12 students, faculty and staff—occupy 100,000 public schools. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2021 Report Card gives U.S. schools a “D+” grade, unchanged from the last report card six years ago. These school buildings are estimated to have an annual spending gap of $85 billion in deferred maintenance costs. The condition of inadequate school facilities can result in exposure to mold and legacy toxics such as lead, asbestos, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); poor air quality and temperature control; inadequate lighting; and excessive noise. 2
Modernizing school facilities also provides opportunities to significantly reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the quality of indoor learning environments.
See the comments.