LUBBOCK, Texas – The Lubbock Compact Foundation celebrated Wednesday after one of their projects was awarded a huge grant that will possibly improve the air quality in Lubbock.

Being nearly $483,000, the funds will help the Environmental Protection Agency conduct a three-year air quality study in the Hub City; the first of its kind in the area.

The Lubbock Environmental Action Project, or LEAP, has been following up on a 2021 study by Texas Tech and others that revealed some concerning numbers of people with asthma in the city. Especially those who live in Northeast Lubbock.

LEAP Project Manager, Joshua Shankles explained, “Maybe it’s best described in that, in taking on this project, it kind of lets the genie out of the bottle. We don’t know what the ultimate outcomes are, we’re going to follow the science wherever that leads us.”

Dora Cortez said she has lived in Northeast Lubbock her whole life and has experienced the negative effects. She said, “We’re talking about generations. I mean, from my grandmother to now my great granddaughter living in the same neighborhood.”

She added that the toxins in the air affect their quality of life and their livelihoods.

The three-year project will start as a network of 40 air quality monitors across the entire city. Samples will be taken, and in year two, scientists will analyze the data and look for hotspots. In year three, they’ll have a robust community engagement strategy and inform the people of the information discovered.

Cortez said she is hopeful that this study will help reduce the toxins in the air.

Lubbock Compact wants to hear from the community to get an accurate result from the study. If you feel the air quality in your area could use some improvements, email them at comms@lubbockcompact.com.