EPA C.A.R.E. grant to help Spokane County residents reduce toxic risks in their neighborhoods
Spokane County residents will be better able to organize and protect themselves from toxic chemicals in their neighborhoods, thanks to a $77,500 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Elin Miller, EPA’s Regional Administrator, announced the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant award to the Lands Council today in Spokane, Washington.
“CARE grants are about empowering communities,” said Miller. “By listening to local concerns and identifying concrete actions to reduce toxic risks in specific communities, this Lands Council-led partnership will invite Spokane County residents to help solve local environmental and human health challenges. EPA’s CARE grants give groups the tools they need to get started.”
The Lands Council and its partners - the Washington Department of Ecology; Greater Spokane Incorporated; and the Spokane Regional Health District - will use the funding to launch a collaborative effort to organize, inform and involve the community to better understand and prevent toxic risks that are impacting the health of Spokane area residents.
The partnership will be modeling their program after a popular approach used by other CARE grantees, known as the “Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH)”. Under this framework, participants will develop a collaborative team, identify and rank environmental health concerns, create action plans, and begin conducting activities to reduce community health risks. Some environmental risks of concern to the community are: surface and groundwater contamination; outdoor and indoor air quality; and pesticides and other pollutants in food.
EPA’s CARE program, originally launched in 2005, has grown from a network of 12 communities to nearly 50 projects. This year EPA has provided $4 million to fund CARE projects. The common theme of CARE projects is to help community groups build collaborative problem-solving partnerships between residents, businesses, organizations and local and state governments.
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