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U.S. EPA ANNOUNCES CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE GRANTS

Release Date: 8/10/1995
Contact Information: Lois A. Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

 (San Francisco)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) awarded a total of $131,851 to ten California public interest groups and other organizations, as part of the agency's environmental justice awards grant 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 California grants are part of $3 million awarded by U.S. EPA to 174 community-based organizations, tribal governments and academic institutions to address environmental justice issues and concerns in communities throughout the United States.

     The recipients are:

African American Development Association Inc., Oakland, ($20,000), will educate the Elmhurst community residents about environmental justice, lead exposure and ways to reduce lead hazards in their homes. The association will provide workshops and chemical hazard maintenance equipment and supplies.

Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland ($20,000), will work with other community groups to coordinate activities with  African American and Laotian communities in Richmond. The groups will evaluate existing outreach and education efforts concerning contaminated fish, share appropriate information within the communities, and determine improvements in providing effective outreach and education.    

California Institute for Rural Studies, Davis, ($20,000), will work with other agencies and organizations to develop and implement a training program to certify trainers to work with farmworkers on pesticide safety. The trainers will work with their neighbors on recognizing health hazards from agricultural chemicals and poor sanitation.

Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee, National City ($20,000), will work with the Toxic Free Barrio Logan Campaign, which will focus its efforts on the Mercado apartments, which house 600 low- income, primarily Latino residents. Basic environmental information and resources will be provided to the residents. Activities include presenting a watershed protection workshop, and establishing a toxics watch hotline and an environmental resource library.

Ontario Montclair School District, Ontario, ($20,000) will teach students, families, and the surrounding school communities about toxic pollutants and the need for water conservation through improved communication and coordination. The programs activities include classroom instruction, visits to the Chino Basin Water Conservation District's Environmental Center, and formation of a parent action group.

Pesticide Watch, San Francisco, ($20,000) will work with The Community Coalition to End Pesticide Drift to improve local organizing efforts in local communities and target residents in other rural, low-income areas that are most likely to experience pesticide drift. The project will fund regional meetings, statewide retreats, participation on a statewide agricultural/urban taskforce, establish an information hotline and public service announcements.

Ramona Gardens Resident Advisory Council, Los Angeles, ($11,851) will familiarize residents of an East Los Angeles low-income public housing project on environmental problems that cause health concerns in their environment. The project will initiate an oil recycling program, clean up affected areas and restore those areas with sod and trees. Tenants will be leading and participating in activities, and materials in English and Spanish will be distributed.

Sierra Club, Los Angeles, ($20,000) will work with other local environmental justice organizations to produce and distribute an educational video, and pamphlets which will inform residents about the dangers of lead exposure in the home and how to reduce exposure.

West County Athletic Association, Richmond, ($19,056) will start up an environmental education program for African American youth (11-14 years old). The program will involve the development and presentation of information about relevant environmental issues. Industry mentors will work with youth to conduct community projects, and youth will also be coached on making classroom and community presentations.


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