Great Rivers’ Air Quality Program

Great Rivers' Air Quality Program Logo.

Great Rivers’ Air Quality Program seeks to protect the public health by preventing further deterioration of the region’s air and water quality, and by reducing and preventing exposure to toxic substances. 

Great Rivers' Air Quality Program. Pictured is air pollution from cars.

Air pollution is linked to increased risk of various respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as some cancers.

An important part of our Air Quality Program involves monitoring actions taken by federal, state and local governments that will impact the quality of the air breathed by the citizens of Missouri and surrounding states.

It is estimated that 9 out of 10 people in urban areas experience negative health effects due to air pollution.

Great Rivers' Air Quality Program. Pictured is air pollution from smokestacks.

Measures taken by Great Rivers include drafting comments to proposed rules, issuing position papers about pollutants, representing individuals in agency proceedings, and, as a last resort, handling litigation for clients seeking to improve air quality and public health.

In 2022, the Missouri Foundation for Health provided a grant to Great Rivers to help us better engage with communities affected by unhealthy air quality. In collaboration with community partners including the Dutchtown South Community Corporation, A Red Circle, and the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, a monitoring network was designed under the guidance of engineering professor Jay Turner. The City of St. Louis gave us permission to place our air monitors on its street light poles, and Dr. Turner’s graduate students installed the air monitors. Today, the monitors are in place and collecting data.

The placement of the monitors and the data collected is enabling our community partners and their members to see first-hand how close they live, work, and play to unhealthy levels of air pollution. With them, we advocate for more air monitoring in overburdened communities; for regulators to better account for the cumulative impacts of polluting sources; and for regulators to proactively engage with overburdened communities early in the permitting process. You can read more about the project and see its data here:

Great Rivers’ Air Quality Program Articles

Great Rivers Engages MDNR to Improve Missouri’s Air Quality

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