IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
August 5, 2021
Mr. Merkley (for himself, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Padilla, and Mrs. Feinstein) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To amend the Clean Air Act to establish a grant program for supporting local communities in detecting, preparing for, communicating about, or mitigating the environmental and public health impacts of wildfire smoke, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Smoke-Ready Communities Act of 2021.
Part A of title I of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Administrator may make grants under this section to air pollution control agencies to support air pollution control agencies in developing and implementing programs that support local communities in detecting, preparing for, communicating with the public about, or mitigating the environmental and public health aspects of wildfire smoke.
In carrying out a program described in subsection (a), an air pollution control agency may use funds from a grant received under this section for—
activities related to the monitoring of, the interpretation of, and communicating with the public about data related to ambient air quality conditions that are caused by wildfire smoke;
conducting community outreach in areas that are prone to poor air quality that is attributable to elevated levels of particulate matter and other harmful components of wildfire smoke;
the deployment of air quality monitoring equipment in a manner that is sufficient to evaluate an increased prevalence of poor air quality that is attributable to elevated levels of particulate matter and other harmful components of wildfire smoke;
equipping public buildings with air filtration systems that are capable of removing particulate matter and other harmful components of wildfire smoke from the air so that the public buildings may serve as cleaner air spaces during wildfire smoke events and other poor air quality events;
the purchase, storage, and distribution of face masks and personal protective equipment, including N–95 filtering facepiece respirators, portable air filtration systems, and other masks and equipment that are capable of removing particulate matter and other harmful components of wildfire smoke from the air;
subgrants or providing other financing to private or other public entities with demonstrated financial need—
to acquire protective gear; or
to carry out weatherization measures to mitigate air infiltration; and
such other activities that the Administrator determines to be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
Allocation of funds
Subject to paragraph (2), the Administrator shall establish a formula to distribute grants under this section among air pollution control agencies.
In establishing the formula required under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall consider—
the vulnerability of communities within a State to wildfire smoke; and
the degree to which a State is prone to poor air quality that is attributable to elevated levels of particulate matter from wildfire smoke.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.