(Lubbock Environmental Action Plan)

The LEAP (Lubbock Environmental Action Plan) project is a 3-year EPA-funded air monitoring study that is being conducted in partnership with the Atmospheric Science Group in the Texas Tech University Department of Geosciences.

There will be a reference sensor and two air monitors located at Texas Tech University, and a total of 40 air monitors placed across the city.

The study will first identify areas of the city that have high amounts of particulate matter in the air near residential neighborhoods, then filters will pull those particles out of the air so that they can be analyzed to determine what they are. There will be a report created with details about the findings of the study.

Data that is being collected by these monitors will be publicly available on this web page so that it can be viewed by researchers, professionals, city leadership, and the general public at any time. We will have this data up as soon as our monitors are deployed.

This will help Lubbock’s citizens and leadership to know if there are any particles that residents are breathing in on a regular basis that may be harmful to their health, and to take action if necessary to protect the public health of our neighborhoods.

Why This Study?

Known Issues

In the Northeast quadrant of Lubbock, there are many industrial facilities that were placed within residential neighborhoods decades ago.

Many of these sites are part of the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) kept by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which means they are known to release potentially harmful particles into the air.

In November of 2021, researchers from Texas Tech University and Sam Houston State University published a paper that found that these areas, North and East Lubbock, have the highest rate of asthma hospitalizations in the city.

The conclusion of that paper was, "The potential contributory role of particulate matter needs further investigation.", so Lubbock Compact applied for this EPA grant to study this further.

Public Health & Safety

A city's number one priority should be the public health and safety of its residents.

If we have facilities that are known to release toxic particles into the air very close to residential neighborhoods, in addition to visible fibers and particles covering houses and cars near some of these sites, it's worth finding out if that is harming our health.

This study will give us the information necessary to make educated decisions about what can and should be done next to make sure our neighborhoods are safe for families.

This data will be presented to local government officials and other relevant stakeholders for consideration in their policy and action decision-making.

Environmental Justice

All citizens of Lubbock deserve the opportunity to enjoy a similar quality of life no matter what their financial situation is or what area they live in.

Unfortunately, Lubbock's past cannot be separated from the conditions of some of our neighborhoods today.

Historic North and East Lubbock were the subject of blatantly racist laws that led to these areas being the chosen sites for heavy industrial uses that were deemed unfit for so-called "good neighborhoods".

We can understand that we now live in a different era while also acknowledging and working to correct the harmful results of mistakes of the past.

No community in our city should be left behind when it comes to growth and revitalization.

This page will be updated as the project moves along.