Tl;DR: The Biden-Harris Administration recently announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has earmarked nearly $83 million in funding to modernize air quality monitoring across the nation —with approximately $2 million allocated specifically for air quality sensors to be deployed and operated in low-income and disadvantaged communities across the United States. Underpinned by the Inflation Reduction Act, this funding represents a significant leap towards empowering state, local, territorial, and Tribal agencies to work directly with communities near air pollution sources to leverage advanced air quality monitoring technologies. 

Air quality monitoring funding from the Inflation Reduction Act 

In August 2022, the United States Congress approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), allocating resources for several air quality monitoring initiatives. Last week, the EPA announced that nearly $83 million in funding aims to expand air quality monitoring and incorporate cutting-edge technologies like Clarity's air quality sensors. 

The funding, detailed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will support the establishment of new ambient air monitoring sites and the maintenance, operation, or upgrade of existing networks. This investment underscores a significant opportunity for states, local, Tribal, and territorial air management agencies to not only enhance their infrastructure but also to adopt the most modern technology, ensuring the longevity of our national air quality monitoring networks.

This legislation allocates approximately $2 million in funds through IRA 60105 (c) Grant Program specifically for the deployment, integration, and operation of air quality sensors in communities identified as low-income or disadvantaged, highlighting a commitment to environmental justice and the mitigation of pollution's unequal health impacts. The EPA will issue this funding to eligible air pollution control agencies as noncompetitive grant funding. 

EPA funding for air quality sensor deployment will be distributed throughout the 10 EPA regions. 

Air pollution sensors — an advanced and growing method of air quality measurement

Air quality sensors, known for their portability, affordability, and user-friendly design, have become an increasingly popular method for high-resolution air quality measurement. While they are not appropriate for regulatory air quality monitoring, air pollution sensors have a wide range of use cases: raising public awareness and education on air quality issues. offering preliminary analyses to pinpoint areas needing further examination, complementing official regulatory monitoring efforts, identifying local pollution sources, and more. 

The EPA has allocated nearly $2 million in funds for the procurement of air quality sensors like the Node-S particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide sensor (pictured above).

The EPA advises that applicants harness the power of readily available air sensor technologies for tracking air pollution, rather than attempting to develop their own. The 60105(c) Air Sensors initiative outlines several key activities that qualify for support, which include, but are not limited to:

  • The strategic placement of air quality sensors by regulatory agencies within or adjacent to communities facing economic and social challenges.
  • The creation and management of programs that lend sensors to these vulnerable communities to facilitate local air quality monitoring.
  • The implementation and management of air quality monitoring initiatives in partnership with local community organizations in underprivileged areas.
  • The execution of quality assurance and quality control procedures and documentation for the air sensors in use.
  • The provision of data management plans and licenses related to air quality sensors — the funding specifically mentions that Sensing-as-a-Service models such as Clarity’s are eligible for funding.
  • The development of educational and outreach materials aimed at enhancing community understanding and utilization of air quality sensors and the data they provide.

This funding initiative is not merely a financial boost; it's a call to air quality specialists and program managers at state, local, Tribal, and territorial air management agencies to usher in a new chapter of environmental vigilance using the most modern air quality measurement equipment available today. With an emphasis on equipping disadvantaged communities with air quality sensors, this initiative aligns with the Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that the health impacts of pollution are addressed equitably across all communities.

How to apply for EPA air quality sensor funding 

The path to securing funding is straightforward for eligible agencies. Detailed guidelines and application procedures are accessible on the EPA's official grant page, providing a roadmap for interested parties to take advantage of this opportunity. 

To apply for this funding, air pollution control agencies involved in air monitoring activities, are encouraged to submit applications via The EPA has set an application deadline of April 8, 2024, and plans to host a webinar on February 28, 2024, to guide applicants through the process. Applicants for air quality sensor funding can consult EPA’s How to Develop a Budget website for assistance with developing their air quality sensor network budget.

Incorporating Clarity's Sensing-as-a-Service air quality monitoring into your strategy can amplify the impact of these funds. Clarity offers a suite of services designed to optimize the deployment of air quality sensors, ensuring that air quality managers can design the most impactful air quality sensor network possible. This strategic partnership not only enhances the capability of monitoring networks but also ensures the sustainability of these critical public assets.

Clarity's Sensing-as-a-Service model incorporates best-in-class air quality measurement hardware, software, and expert support (including calibration services) to ensure the best possible air quality data.

As we stand at the crossroads of innovation and environmental stewardship, the Inflation Reduction Act's funding for air quality monitoring embodies a profound commitment to safeguarding public health and the environment. For air quality specialists and program managers, this is an unparalleled opportunity to harness cutting-edge technology like Clarity's air quality sensors to reinforce the national air quality monitoring infrastructure and advance our collective quest for a cleaner, healthier future.

For more information and to begin the application process, reach out to Clarity to learn more about our air quality measurement solutions or visit the EPA's official page on Air Monitoring and Air Quality Sensors Grants under the Inflation Reduction Act​​.