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EPA ANNOUNCES $145,000 IN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SMALL GRANTS TO NEW ENGLAND GROUPS

Release Date: 11/08/1999
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced that a New Hampshire organization is among nine community groups in New England to receive a total of $143,962 in environmental justice small grants.

The grants, first given out in 1994, are meant to help ensure equal environmental protection, and the equal enforcement of environmental laws, rules, regulations, and policies for all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, culture, or income.

New Hampshire Citizen's Alliance in Concord received $15,000 for its Merrimack County Air Quality Awareness Project. This group, which educates New Hampshire residents so they have a voice in policy decisions that affect them, will use this money to increase community understanding of air quality issues as well as to create new alliances between organizations and individuals so they can share information and ultimately encourage policy reform.

"We have a legal and moral obligation to protect all of our citizens equally," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "This grant will help us to do so by giving communities a better understanding of how the environment affects them, and how they can play a role in creating a less polluted and healthier community."

The following grants were also awarded:

In Massachusetts:
Recycling Initiative Campaign
in Boston received $15,000 for its Boston Neighborhood Recycling Campaign. This project aims to boost recycling rates in Dorchester, East Boston and the South End, all multicultural and multilingual neighborhoods.

Western Masscosh in Springfield received $15,000 for its Healthy Schools Networking project. This group, which has been educating employees on health and safety issues in the work place for more than 25 years, will use the grant to develop environmental teams at the Springfield School District level and individual schools. These teams will identify environmental problems and look for systems to manage these problems.

Circle of Caring in Mashpee received $20,000 for the Mass. Military Reservation Superfund Site/Cape Code Minority Community Engagement Coalition Project. This project will research communication needs in the community and translate environmental management information for minority residents who live near MMR so they can understand the impact on their lives of MMR and various plans for cleaning it.

Housatonic River Initiative of Pittsfield received $18,980 for its Hazardous Waste Identification and Community Awareness Research Project. The group plans to research neighborhood concerns and health issues around cleanup of the 256-acre General Electric site and then publicize the results back to the neighborhood.

In Rhode Island:
Youth In Action
in Providence received $15,000 for an Environmental Justice Action Project that will offer training sessions to youth about environmental issues plaguing South Providence. The group will survey families door to door on health concerns and will plan community forums to bring residents together to discuss issues related to environmental justice.

Keep Providence Beautiful in Providence received $15,000 for a project called "Waverly Street: Implementing An Urban Environmental Model." This group, which works for a cleaner, safer Providence hopes to address environmental health concerns of the Waverly Street community.

In Connecticut:
South End Neighborhood Revitalization
in Waterbury received $15,000 to help resident of the South End of the city conduct environmental health assessments and prepare the area for investments, which will help revitalize this neighborhood.

In Maine:
The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
in Aroostook County received $15,000 for a project that supports development of a community planning process that involves the community in sustainable development. The project, called "Community Development in a Sustainable Residential Development Project, will also train tribe members in sustainable development construction techniques.