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Oklahoma DEQ receives $3 million grant to look into the state's air quality, workforce development

The Department of Environmental Quality in Oklahoma City.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch
The Department of Environmental Quality in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has received a $3 million federal planning grant to develop a statewide greenhouse gas inventory and develop plans for reducing emissions. The funding comes from the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.

The department announced on Wednesday it is working with state agencies, Oklahoma universities, Tribal Nations, and local governmental agencies to determine projects and planning coordination opportunities for the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant.

Projects on vehicle charging infrastructure, methane detection, carbon capture, and workforce development centered around the reduction of greenhouse gasses are will be considered as the DEQ develops a statewide priority action plan and comprehensive action plan for better air quality.

This comes at a time when this year’s annual air quality life index from the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute was released earlier this month. The index shows that air pollution continues to be the greatest external threat to human life expectancy on the planet.

According to the EPA, in many parts of the United States, climate change is expected to worsen harmful ground-level ozone, increase people’s exposure to allergens like pollen, and contribute to worsening air quality. It can also decrease visibility so that it is harder to see into the distance. Changes in the amount of outdoor air pollutants can also affect indoor air quality.

The next phases of the planning grant include a road show later this year to get input from communities and stakeholders around Oklahoma on how to use the Climate Pollution Reduction grant. The department is taking public comment until Sept. 15. You can submit a comment through email to [email protected].

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Britny Cordera was StateImpact Oklahoma's environment and science reporter from July 2023 to April 2024.
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