During COVID-19, we’ve watched our communities face increased mortality from respiratory diseases due to high levels of air pollution coming from cars, trucks, trains, boats, and planes.
Now more than ever, we know that breathing clean air is a matter of life and health. COVID-19 has shown that high concentrations of pollution can lead to increased mortality from respiratory disease. Air quality affects every corner of our public health. Massachusetts residents and workers are exposed to air pollution caused by cars, trucks, trains, boats, and planes. Environmental Justice (EJ) populations — people of color, Indigenous people, low-income people, and limited English proficient speakers — are especially affected by air quality problems. On average, residents of color in Massachusetts are exposed to pollution from vehicle emissions that are 26 to 36 percent higher than the exposure of white residents.
We need to act fast. An Act to Improve Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality for Communities Burdened by Transportation Pollution will improve indoor and outdoor air quality by:
✔ Expanding outdoor air monitoring for black carbon, ultrafine particulate matter, and criteria pollutants in pollution hotspots.
✔ Setting and achieving ambitious air quality targets by 2030 and 2035.
✔Requiring installation of air filters in existing eligible buildings, such as schools, residential buildings with more than 2 tenant-occupied units, certain commercial buildings, and correctional facilities within 200 meters of congested roadways.
✔Requiring advanced filtration systems (e.g., MERV 16) for new eligible buildings, such as day care facilities, residential developments, hospitals, schools, long-term care facilities, school aged child care programs, temporary shelters, nursing homes.
✔Updating the state sanitary code to improve mold enforcement.
You can help end environmental injustice and win cleaner healthier air for everyone!
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In collaboration with the Massachusetts EJ Legislation Table
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