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EPA Awards $1 Million for Environmental Justice Projects


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $1 million in grants across the country for improving the environment in low-income communities.

In a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., today, EPA awarded $100,000 grants to 10 community-based organizations for projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues as childhood asthma, farm worker pesticide protection, fish consumption, indoor air quality, drinking water contamination, and lead poisoning prevention.

“From Rochester, New York to Oakland, California, engaged communities across the country are seizing the opportunity to clean up their own backyard,” said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. He continued to say, “These grants provide necessary resources for local communities to take an active role in our nation’s environmental solutions.”

Since 1994, EPA has provided over $31 million in funding to more than 1,100 community-based organizations. The following are examples of previously funded projects:

cleanup and prepared an abandon lot for redevelopment in Anahola, Hawaii;
educate the residents of Tacoma, Wash., about safe and sustainable methods of harvesting shellfish;
reduce exposure to asthma and increase community access for asthma treatment for residents of a Brooklyn, N.Y., community;
help residents of Mebane, N.C., address issues with failing septic systems, potentially impacting 500 homes; and
reduce lead exposure among residents of Pacoima, Calif., a Los Angeles area city.

Financial assistance under the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program is available to all non-profit organizations designated by the IRS or recognized by the state, territory, commonwealth or tribe in which it is located. The purpose of the funding is to assist affected communities so that they can develop proactive, strategic, and visionary approaches to address their environmental justice issues and to achieve community health and sustainability.

The following organizations received grants today:
1-Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Boston, Mass.)
2-Southwest Area Neighborhood Association Inc. (Rochester, N.Y.)
3-Coalition for Environmentally Safe Communities (Washington, D.C.)
4-Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (Duplin, N.C.)
5-Cleveland Tenants Association (Cleveland, Ohio)
6-Louisiana Environmental Justice Community Organization Coalition (Morgan City, La.)
7-Area Resources for Community and Human Services (St. Louis, Mo.)
8-San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (Alamosa, Colo.)
9-Pacific Institutes for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security (West Oakland, Calif.)
10-Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (Seattle, Wash.)


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