Louisiana environmental justice group to receive $100,000 grant from EPA
A Louisiana environmental justice group will use a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to work toward reducing residents’ exposure to toxic air emissions from industrial facilities.
The Louisiana Environmental Justice Community Organization Coalition (LEJCOC) of White Castle will be awarded $100,000 as part of EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program. EPA recently awarded a total of $1 million in grants to communities across the country for projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues such as childhood asthma, farm worker pesticide protection, fish consumption, indoor air quality, drinking water contamination and lead poisoning prevention.
LEJCOC will concentrate on two communities in Shreveport and St. James Parish. The group plans to train residents to use of alternative dispute resolution strategies to empower them to negotiate with the industries in these two communities. They will also work with the industries to make changes to equipment and operating controls.
EPA’s environmental justice program was created in response to an agency report that found that minority and low-income populations may experience higher than average exposure to pollutants and may be disproportionately affected by environmental problems. Since 1994, the program has provided over $31 million in funding to more than 1,100 community-based organizations. Financial assistance is available to all non-profit organizations designated by the IRS or recognized by the state, territory, commonwealth or tribe in which they are located. The purpose of the funding is to assist affected communities so that they can develop proactive, strategic and visionary solutions to their environmental justice issues.
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