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EPA Awards $1.2 million to California Communities to Protect Human Health and Reduce GHG Emissions

Release Date: 04/14/2011
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov


22 grants totaling $8.3 million awarded nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that three communities in California, including one Indian tribe, were selected to receive a combined $1.2 million in funding through the Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program.

The three recipients, Alameda County Waste Management Authority, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Humboldt Waste Management, were awarded funding for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect human health.

“EPA’s funding will not only help protect public health and reduce environmental footprints, but it will create local jobs in the new green economy,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The innovative programs these communities have developed here in California, including packaging reduction, food waste collection, and going solar, should serve as models across the nation.”

The three California communities estimate that their projects will reduce approximately 16,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually—the equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 3,000 passenger vehicles, or the energy used by 2,000 homes, and save at least $100,000 in energy costs. The projects will also improve people’s health and quality of life by improving indoor and outdoor air quality, increasing walkability, and reducing household energy bills.

Alameda County Waste Management Authority (StopWaste.Org) will launch a project that will reduce packing materials by helping businesses convert to sustainable and reusable alternatives. Part of the project will include developing a highly transferrable model for other local governments and businesses. This will result in significant reductions in solid waste and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians will launch a Community Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Renewable Energy project, which will create jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and associated costs. Part of the project will include developing a job training program, which will train up to 60 tribal members on performing energy efficiency retrofits, and solar installations on residential, commercial and government buildings.

Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) will develop a food waste collection program that will reduce the amount of waste currently being trucked 180 miles away to the nearest landfill. The food waste collection program will reduce approximately 2,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually by the diversion of food waste from landfills, reducing vehicle miles travelled to the current landfill, and using biogas produced from food waste to offset fossil fuel use.

The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA, providing technical assistance, tools, and guidance to help state, local, and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change. In total, EPA will award 22 grants nationwide, totaling $8.3 million.

The 22 communities are showing their commitment to improve local health and reduce GHG emissions by contributing matching funds and committing to share their lessons learned to help other communities replicate successful projects. Communities selected for the Climate Showcase funds were required to show their ability to achieve ongoing GHG reductions as well as to track, measure, and show progress toward their goals. The new grantees join 25 communities that were awarded funding in 2010.

More information on the grants and the grant recipients:
http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/
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