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U.S. EPA ANNOUNCES ENVIRONMENTAL GRANTS FOR WESTERN STATES

Release Date: 9/27/1996
Contact Information: Lois A. Grunwald, U.S. EPA , (415) 744-1588

     (San Francisco)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today awarded a total of $279,682 to 15 California, Arizona, and Hawaii public interest groups and other organizations, as part of the agency's environmental justice small grants program.

     "The grants will help these groups work in their communities to ensure that the benefits of environmental protection are shared by everyone," said Felicia Marcus, administrator of U.S. EPA's western regional office. "The aim of our environmental justice program is to achieve equal environmental protection, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, or income."

     The grants are part of $3 million awarded by U.S. EPA to 152 community-based organizations, tribal governments and academic institutions to address environmental justice issues and concerns in communities throughout the United States.

     The recipients are:

Arizona

Intertribal Council of Arizona Inc. (ITCA), Phoenix, ($19,702), will coordinate a training program in which tribes will be given instruction, training, and direct on-site technical assistance for the development of a Tribal Emergency Response Commission and emergency response plans. ITCA will conduct meetings with tribal community-based emergency response representatives and tribal leaders, provide tribal on-site technical assistance, and assist in the development of tribal emergency response plans.

Paa Qavi Inc., Hotevilla, ($20,000), will create a used oil recycling station on Hopi land. In the Hopi community, a high number of individuals change their own oil, and the only oil disposal facilities are 70 to 95 miles away from the Hopi community. The project will also provide individuals, villages, and local businesses with information about the hazards of improperly disposing of used oil and proper methods of disposal.

California

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, Oakland, ($5,000), will continue the Environmental Health and Safety Project of Asian Immigrant Women Electronics Assemblers. The project's ongoing environmental education program includes newsletters, workshops, and training for these workers. The program will provide environmental health information in several languages and will also include tips on protection from hazardous materials in the workplace.

Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland, ($20,000), will work with community groups in the San Francisco Bay Area on fish consumption issues. Through this partnership, the groups will evaluate existing outreach and education efforts relevant to contaminated fish, share information with communities, and improve outreach and education in these communities.

Bernal Heights Housing Corporation, San Francisco, ($20,000),  will instruct low-income parents in the Bernal Heights, outer Mission, and Excelsior districts of San Francisco about environmental justice issues, including lead poisoning and lead hazard prevention and reduction in the home and work place. The corporation will hold workshops, conferences and distribute bilingual educational materials in partnership with Consumer Action, local churches, daycare centers, libraries, local businesses, and other nonprofit organizations.

California Rural Legal Assistance, Pomona, ($19,980), will fund the Farmworker Women's Leadership Project, Lideres Capesinas. The project works with 250 farmworker women representing 12 farmworker communities throughout California. The goal of the program is to train farmworker women as certified pesticide educators and environmental health advocates to disseminate health information to farmworkers and assist in the documentation of toxic poisoning.

Chinatown Resource Center, San Francisco, ($20,000), will conduct community education and outreach on the hazards of lead in the home to primarily monolingual Chinese speaking adults who provide home care for children under the age of six. This population may face higher exposure to lead due to lack of provider training or information on lead poisoning. The lead outreach will be done in conjunction with community education on seismic safety, facilitated by AmeriCorps volunteers at buildings scheduled for seismic retrofitting.

Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego, ($20,000), will work in parternship with the Mercado Apartments Tenants Association to educate, empower, and organize residents of Barrio Logan around environmental justice issues. The campaign will motivate community participation through a community health survey and monthly environmental health updates at the Tenants Association meetings.

Healing our Mother Earth, Grover Beach, ($15,000), will hold a series of house meetings to train primarily Spanish speaking, low-income farmworkers to recognize symptoms of chemical poisoning and to encourage families to seek regular preventative health check ups to screen for various health problems. The project will also educate families on how to avoid or minimize exposure of dangerous toxins. The project will also increase communication between the community and government entities in the community of McFarland, and develop local leadership within the community.

Los Angeles Conservation Corp., Los Angeles, ($20,000), will work with communities to create recycling, recycled oil or stormdrain dumping projects. This will involve community members in environmental cleanup and pollution prevention projects that corp members frequently conduct. A handbook will be developed and distributed to corps throughout the nation, as well as youth groups, schools and local organizations.

West County Toxics Coalition, Richmond, ($20,000), will inform the public and community-based organizations about the nature of lead poisoning and the need for testing and screening. The coalition will also provide information on preventative measures and resources for addressing the problems. The project will involve low-income individuals living in the county Housing Authority's public housing facilities.

Project Concern International, San Diego, ($20,000), will work with the Vista Community Clinic to increase understanding of environmental sanitation, demonstrate simple, low-cost techniques for water storage and disinfection, and improve hygiene among migrant workers.

San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, San Francisco, ($20,000), will develop youth leaders who will help instruct and organize the Bayview-Hunters's Point community around issues of environmental justice. These youth will also encourage friends, family and neighbors to participate in workshops addressing environmental justice issues in the Bayview-Hunter's Point area.

Save San Francisco Bay Association, Oakland, ($20,000), will develop and implement a community education program that educates and trains subsistence fishing communities in San Francisco, Solano, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin Counties about ways to minimize health risks associated with eating Bay fish.

Hawaii

Native Hawaiian Advisory Council, Honolulu, ($20,000), will work in partnership with the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii on a one-year project designed to inform  native Hawaiians about the legislative and administrative processes used by governmental agencies to make environmental decisions. Project participants will prepare E Alu Like Mai I Ka Pono: A Guidebook to Hawai'i's Legislative and Administrative Processes. The book will focus on legislative committees and agencies that handle environmental and/or native Hawaiian issues.


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