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Good Reason for Thanks: EPA Grants Help New England

Release Date: 11/25/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Nov. 25, 2008) – Over $380,000 is being awarded to New England programs, promoting ongoing environmental and public health initiatives. The grants are part of EPA’s 2008 Healthy Communities Grant Program.

The 14 grants, totaling $380,426, will fund projects working to reduce environmental risk, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities across New England.

EPA’s Healthy Communities Grant Program joins resources from nine EPA programs to strategically address environmental and public health issues burdening New England communities. Funding is used to restore or revitalize the environment; provide education, outreach, and training; and organize and conduct community planning activities.

“Especially in these tough economic times, EPA is very proud to be able to help out local programs that are helping to improve peoples’ health and our environment,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Working together, we’re making great progress for a cleaner environment and healthier communities.”

The grants were awarded to the following recipients:

Connecticut


The Connecticut Department of Public Health
was awarded $35,000 for the "Building a Statewide Comprehensive, Sustaining Tools for Schools Program" project. This effort will help 90 schools in Connecticut improve the indoor air quality of the school environment for children by implementing Tools for Schools, providing training for school staff, and other activities to reduce exposure to asthma triggers and create healthy indoor learning environments.

Ledge Light Health District
was awarded $19,232 for the "Comprehensive Asthma Project". This work will provide comprehensive environmental and clinical care to 30 families and training to over 150 coaches to address pediatric asthma in New London County through education, outreach, intervention and training to benefit children diagnosed with asthma.

The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
was awarded $12,750 for the “Get Hartford Recycling” project. The project will create a Speakers Bureau to educate Hartford residents on the benefits of recycling, how to dispose of hazardous waste, will increase in the amount of materials recycled in the city and reduce the total waste and hazardous waste burned in local incinerators.

Maine


The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
was awarded $28,000 for their “Asthma Healthy Homes Initiative”. The project will develop a culturally appropriate healthy homes education and outreach program that will also include home visits for families with asthmatics to assure that tribal families have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to improve their asthma self management and quality of life.

Massachusetts


The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
was awarded $25,000 for the "Lead-Free Fishing Outreach" project. This effort will provide education, outreach and compliance assistance activities to raise awareness of lead-free alternatives to traditional fishing weights reaching at least 3,000 individuals through local tackle shops, and through high visibility events including the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
was awarded $33,000 for the "Environment and Natural Resources Outreach Kiosk". The project will create an interactive, educational kiosk which will provide local residents and visitors to tribal lands an understanding of environment and public health issues, current projects to protect and restore natural resources, compliance assistance efforts, and information on the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
was awarded $14,330 for the "Hazardous Materials & Multi-Casualty Incident Training" project. This work will coordinate an island-wide, multi-agency training, response activity, and table top demonstration of a hazardous materials scenario on or near Tribal lands to allow agencies, emergency responders and the tribe to develop an effective response protocol which protects ecological and tribal health.

The Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition
was awarded $34,594 for the "Building Asthma Safe Environments" project. The project will work with health care providers and community health educators to promote asthma self-management, integrate evidence based healthy homes principles into existing asthma management services, and reduce environmental exposures in the home for at least 40 families in Springfield, Mass.

New Hampshire


Breathe New Hampshire
was awarded $34,800 for the “TFS Plus: Healthy Schools, Healthy Children, Healthy Minds” project. The effort will recruit up to four public school districts and provide leadership, coordination, and resources to help schools deploy effective environmental interventions to ensure healthy and productive learning environments.

The Nashua Regional Planning Commission
was awarded $34,980 for the “Nashua Regional Energy Program”. The project will address climate change in the thirteen communities of the Nashua Region by providing education and outreach to the community, identifying greenhouse gas emission sources in municipal buildings, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Rhode Island


The Southside Community Land Trust
was awarded $29,740 for the “Youth Urban Gardening Education Initiative. The project will create a hands-on educational curriculum on integrated pest management, rain water collection, rodent-proof composting, lead testing, and soil remediation to transform urban land into safe, productive food gardens.

The Childhood Lead Action Project
was awarded $35,000 for the “Immigrant and Refugee Lead Prevention Project”. This initiative will create a culturally and linguistically sensitive education and outreach campaign on childhood lead poisoning and prevention methods to reduce the exposure of immigrant and refugee children to lead hazards in the home.

Vermont


The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
was awarded $9,000 for the "Outreach to Ethnic and Tribal Communities Regarding Mercury in Fish" project. The effort will reach at least 10,000 residents including the Abenaki tribe and other diverse populations in Vermont to reduce mercury exposure from fish consumption through advisories, multilingual education, and outreach to target populations.

New England


The Medical Foundation’s Asthma Regional Council
was awarded $35,000 for the “Healthy Homes Promotion Project”. The initiative will provide training and educational programs on holistic healthy homes approaches for the communities of Fall River and Springfield, Mass. and promote regional learning, networking, and build institutional capacity to address environmental contributors to asthma and other chronic conditions.

Eligible projects must meet several criteria, including: (1) be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the identified Target Investment Areas; and (2) identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the identified Target Program Areas. Target Investment Areas and Target Program Areas are identified in the annual Request for Initial Proposal. In 2008, the Target Investment Areas included Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern, Places with High Risks from Toxics Air Pollution, Sensitive Populations, and/or Urban Areas. Target Program Areas included: Asthma, Capacity-Building on Environmental and Public Health Issues, Clean Energy, Healthy Indoor/Outdoor Environments, Healthy Schools, and/or Urban Natural Resources and Open/Green Space.

More information:
Healthy Communities Grant Program (epa.gov/region01/eco/uep/hcgp.html)

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