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Joint air toxics research project among tribes, agencies recognized for partnership
Date:3/27/2013

TEMPE (March 27, 2013) - An extensive joint research project among two American Indian tribes in Arizona, the American Indian Policy Institute, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University and state environmental agencies to examine air toxics in the Phoenix Metropolitan area has received a national environmental award.

The Joint Air Toxics Assessment Project was awarded a 2013 National Environmental Excellence Award by the National Association of Environmental Professionals for partnerships. Awards will be presented at the NAEP Awards Luncheon at the 2013 NAEP/Association of Environmental Professionals Conference April 2 in Los Angeles.

"One of the most persistent difficulties in conducting environmental projects that produce useful results is the need for coordination among different jurisdictions and organizations. This was the first major research project that all the regulatory jurisdictions in the airshed participated in fully and collaboratively to assess the health consequences of 200 hazardous air pollutants," said Patricia Mariella, director of the American Indian Policy Institute at ASU. "Air pollution doesn't recognize political boundaries."

This multi-faceted project examined the sources, distribution and risks from air toxics in the greater Phoenix metropolitan airshed. Air toxics differ from most air pollutants in the Clean Air Act because there are no defined health levels for most toxics in outdoor air. The core project partners are the American Indian Policy Institute and Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency (Region 9).

While national studies indicate that residents of many communities and neighborhoods are exposed to unhealthful levels of air toxics such as benzene, the partnership was orga
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Contact: Julie Newberg
julie.newberg@asu.edu
480-727-3116
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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