The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is giving $200,000 to the City of Fort Collins to tackle health and indoor air quality concerns in underserved communities.

According to a press release from the City of Fort Collins, the funding will support the City's Healthy Homes Indoor Air Quality program, which informs residents about how they can improve their own indoor air quality.

This financial boost will allow the City to continue enhancing its indoor air quality, emergency preparedness, and energy efficiency — especially for residents who are at risk. This enhancement includes assessing air quality and energy use needs, addressing gaps in the program, and creating new home assessment tools.

"Safe and comfortable at home has taken on a new meaning after 2020, when Fort Collins residents navigated both a pandemic and some of the worst wildfires in Colorado history," said Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt in the release. "We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant from the EPA, which we will use to help align and supplement our municipal programs...that support health, comfort, and resilience at home."

The EPA's funding is part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which aims to take on environmental and public health issues in underserved communities through Environmental Justice (EJ) initiatives.

The 2021 ARP Plan is specifically focused on concerns stemming from pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In June, we celebrated National Healthy Homes Month — an annual reminder of the importance of protecting and improving the health of children and families, especially in environmentally overburdened and economically underserved areas," said Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, in the release. "We are pleased to provide the City of Fort Collins with this funding under the American Rescue Plan to address indoor air quality and other environmental health concerns for those who need it most."

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