Apply for a MassDEP Air Sensor Grant

This grant program provides, at no cost, between five and ten fine particulate (PM2.5) air sensors to tribes, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and municipalities.
MassDEP accepts applications on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funding is spent.

Air Sensor Grant Questions?

The Details   of Apply for a MassDEP Air Sensor Grant

About this program   for Apply for a MassDEP Air Sensor Grant

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is offering this grant opportunity for tribes, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and municipalities to receive, at no cost, between five and ten PurpleAir sensors to measure levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in their communities' outdoor air for at least one year. MassDEP encourages placing air sensors in communities with Environmental Justice (EJ) populations.

PM2.5 is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets so small that they can be inhaled deep into the lungs and may even enter the bloodstream. Breathing PM2.5 can aggravate asthma and contribute to other respiratory and cardio-pulmonary illnesses. 

With sensors provided through this grant program, grantees can:

  • Work with residents, schools, businesses, and community groups to assess PM2.5 levels in the outdoor air;
  • Increase public understanding of local conditions and their effects;
  • Identify areas where pollution levels might be higher and mitigation efforts can be directed to protect public health.

How to apply   Apply for a MassDEP Air Sensor Grant

See the details below.

Next steps   for Apply for a MassDEP Air Sensor Grant

  1. Review the Program Guidance

  2. Learn About the Available Sensors

    Image of PurpleAir PA II Sensor
    PurpleAir Flex PM2.5 Sensor

    PurpleAir Flex sensors are air quality instruments that measure real-time PM2.5 concentrations in a variety of outdoor settings.

    Built-in WiFi enables these sensors to transmit air quality data to the PurpleAir Map, where it is stored and can be viewed on any smart device. 

    PurpleAir sensor data also may be viewed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) AirNow Fire & Smoke Map together with data from regulatory PM2.5 monitors operated by MassDEP and other government agencies.

  3. Prepare Supporting Documentation

    Determine how many sensors you want to apply for (between five and ten) and a geographic area or neighborhood where they will be deployed in outdoor locations.

    Then develop a brief project description, including the above information, and identifying:

    • Who you will work with (e.g. residents within a specific neighborhood, schools to educate students about air quality, local businesses and groups who wish to host sensors); and
    • Any Environmental Justice (EJ) populations that will be served by some or all of the sensors to be deployed.

    You will be asked to enter your project description or upload it as an attachment during the online application process.

  4. Apply Online

    You may apply for a minimum of five and a maximum of ten air sensors, which must be installed at outdoor locations.

    We encourage you to partner with residents, schools, businesses, and local organizations that work on public health and environmental justice issues. MassDEP accepts applications on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funding is spent.

  5. MassDEP Reviews Your Application

    MassDEP begins by verifying your eligibility and checking your application for completeness. If you are not eligible, we will inform you by email.

    After receiving your complete application, MassDEP will issue you an approval letter and a grant agreement, an example of which is provided below. You will have 30 days to return the signed agreement to MassDEP.

  6. Install Sensors Around Your Community

    Once you sign and return your grant agreement, MassDEP will arrange for shipment of the awarded sensors to you.

    You must then work with sensor hosts - which may include residents, schools, business, and community groups - to ensure that the equipment is:

    • Installed in outdoor locations that have access to both electricity and 2.4gHz WiFi;
    • Set to "public mode" so that their data appears on both the PurpleAir Map and EPA AirNow Fire & Smoke Map; and
    • Allowed to operate for at least one year.

    For additional information, see the instructions and video below.

    You are required to notify MassDEP in writing when all awarded sensors are deployed and relaying data.

Contact   for Apply for a MassDEP Air Sensor Grant

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