By Roberta RamptonAssociated PressAn Air Quality Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that it has awarded $2.5 million to a research institute that specializes in analyzing the environmental impacts of emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
The EPA awarded the contract to a nonprofit called the Institute for Policy Integrity, which has focused its work on studying the impacts of climate change and climate-related pollution on the environment.
The agency said in a statement that the institute’s work “will enhance our understanding of how climate change will impact air quality, public health, and economic activity in a variety of settings.”
The group’s president, Robert C. Tuck, told the Associated Press that the award was “not intended to be a political position.”
“The goal is to find the best possible solutions for our communities,” he said.
The $2 million is for the work of a team of researchers at the institute, who will be analyzing data from a database called “CarbonTracker,” which has been collecting data on air pollution from more than 300 cities.
Tuck said the project would be funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U:S.
Agency for International Development, and the United States Agency for Reclamation and Development.
He declined to disclose the exact amount of funding, but said the work would be conducted in partnership with government entities and other outside groups.
Tucking also said the group would work to “understand the mechanisms that have enabled pollution to be created in the first place and how to address it.”
He did not specify what those mechanisms might be.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has long opposed paying for research into climate change, saying that the agency shouldn’t be involved in that area.
Tucked said he was “surprised” by Pruitt’s opposition, but added that the administration “has made an effort” to find solutions for climate change.
“It’s really important that we take this seriously, and that we make it work,” he told the AP.