LSU Health Foundation and LSU School of Public Health were one of five Louisiana recipients of community air pollution monitoring grants announced by EPA on Thursday. Funded through the Inflation Reduction Act and American Rescue Plan, LSU will use the nearly half a million dollar grant to monitor particulate matter pollution around the Claiborne Expressway. The primary goals of this project are to facilitate community-led air monitoring campaigns, intergenerational learning, and deliberative engagement to in-power communities, enable informed decision making, and foster strategic political collective action on the fate of the expressway.
LSU has been working with the community group Claiborne Avenue Alliance (CAA) since 2017 to engage students from elementary to graduate school in citizen science projects and monitor air and noise pollution around the expressway. Students found that particulate matter levels in neighborhoods near the Claiborne Expressway regularly exceed health-based standards. A formal report created by LSU graduate students and a children’s book created by local elementary school students came to the attention of national groups. President Joe Biden promoted “the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans” for his plan “to reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments… increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access”.
Work on this project is aimed at protecting the community’s health, and supporting a historically significant but economically faltering Creole neighborhood. One of the primary outcomes of this project is the development of an environmental monitor lending library which will allow communities to collect data and build a case to promote proactive environmental protection in the advancement of public health.
Dr. Adrienne Katner will speak about her work on this project, as well as her work monitoring air pollution in the Industrial Corridor, at the LSU School of Public Health’s November 16th lunchtime presentation, “Community-Engaged Research to Impact Policy and Public Health: Environmental Investigations of New Orleans’ Claiborne Expressway and Louisiana’s Industrial Corridor” (presentation will be at noon in Room 309 of the Lions Building).
More information about Louisiana projects funded by EPA can be found at: https://www.nola.com/news/environment/article_72868d76-5c85-11ed-bafc-1f6631cd792f.html