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U.S. EPA Awards $95,900 to Tools For Change-Albany to Reduce Pollution And Health Disparities


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded $95,902 to Tools for Change (TFC)-Albany, a nonprofit organization in Albany, Ga., for work with the communities surrounding the Alice Coachman Elementary School to understand and reduce local pollution and associated health disparities.

The award is part of EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program, a community-based, community-driven program that builds partnerships to help the public understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources. Since the program was established three years ago, CARE has provided a total of $7.75 million to more than 49 communities nationwide. The Albany CARE project is one of just two funded in the southeast region for 2007.

“Through this project, EPA will work with communities in Albany to create local collaborative partnerships and implement local solutions,” said Russell Wright, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator for EPA in Atlanta. “Ultimately the project partners will reduce releases of toxic pollutants and minimize exposure to toxic pollutants.”

Founded in 2003, TFC-Albany convenes community meetings with residents, researchers and health providers who are members of, or worked with, Albany’s under-served community to battle health disparities.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with EPA through the CARE grant,” said Rebecca Reid, board member and officer of TFC-Albany. “The project will help community members improve their health by learning how environmental toxins may affect their health if they do not do something about them.”

The CARE project is focused on the residential communities surrounding the Alice Coachman Elementary school, which is located in an industrial corridor and is an economically disadvantaged area. Residents are concerned about potential environmental and health risks posed by two petroleum storage tank farms, a diesel hauling company and former industrial waste sites.

TFC-Albany will facilitate cooperation between all stakeholders in the local community to identify potential sources of environmental exposures and establish priorities for risk reduction. Activities will include an examination of possible environmental toxic exposures, as well as suspected toxic sources, and community education about health effects of pollution on children and long-term residents.

Established in 2005, CARE is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for communities to organize and take action to reduce toxic pollution in their air, land and water. By joining forces, for-profit and non-profit organizations can work together to improve the environmental health of a community and its residents.


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