Grant could help monitor local air quality

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Dealing with the inversions, high wind storms, and maybe even by-products of the gas and oil industries, the quality of the air we breathe here in the valley is very important.

One local woman is hoping to get approval for a grant that could benefit the Grand Valley air quality, as well as students.

A registered nurse for 35 years, Benita Phillips can tell you the air quality in the Grand Valley might not be as pristine as one may think...

That's partly why she's been pushing for a state grant in conjunction with CU-Boulder, that would fund a high school student-led air quality monitoring program into district 51...

"We have literally 1000's of people here in the Valley who have science backgrounds who would do really well to interact with high school students in helping them develop their own science curiosity," Phillips said.

If they go the grant, stations would be set up near D51 schools that collect data on the air and are supervised by students.
In order to get a shot at that money, the grant specifies that they need support from the schools and government.

"Without a letter of commitment from District 51, without a letter of commitment from the Mesa County Commissioners, we probably will not get the grant."

At Monday morning's commissioner's meeting, Executive Director of the County Health Department Jeff Kuhr advised the commissioners not to write a letter of support for now. He says the department has to be objective when asked to partner with special interest groups.

"For the overall health of the population, I'm not in disagreement of their approach," Kuhr said, "but I also have to think about what is the impact to the economy? What is the impact to the burden to the local taxpayer?"

While it seems everyone's in agreement that the project would be beneficial to students while offering another perspective to air quality control, government support can be a tricky situation.

"Am i siding with something that other residents in the community might not agree with? I have to take very careful consideration of these requests."

The program already exists in the North Fork Valley, allowing students from the four high schools thereto get hands-on data collecting and assessing experience.

KKCO firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKCO 11News.

powered by Disqus
KKCO NBC 11 News 2531 Blichmann Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81505 Station Phone: 970.243.1111 Business Fax: 970.243.1770 Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793 News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 242308121 -
Gray Television, Inc.