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FRIDAY: EPA to Kick-off Environmental Justice Showcase in Jacksonville

Release Date: 04/28/2010
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, 404-562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – April 28, 2010) On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will join the City of Jacksonville and the State of Florida at a press conference to kick-off a $100,000 Environmental Justice (EJ) Showcase Community pilot in Jacksonville’s Health Zone 1. Health Zone 1 encompasses zip codes 32202, 32204, 32206, 32208, 32209 and 32254.

Jacksonville is one of just 10 communities selected from across the nation to receive a portion of the $1 million in funding being provided through the EPA’s EJ Showcase program. The agency is providing $100,000 per community to fund projects over the next two years to help alleviate the environmental and human health challenges they face.

As part of the press conference, EPA will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Communities in Schools, an organization that strives to address children’s unmet needs, to work collaboratively throughout the Showcase project on improving children’s environmental health in Jacksonville’s Health Zone 1.

WHO: Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator;
Kent Benjamin, Associate Director, EPA Office of Environmental Justice;

      Mayor John Peyton, City of Jacksonville;
      Greg Strong, Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Northeast District;
          Jon Heymann, Chief Executive Officer, Communities in Schools; and
      Representatives from Eastside Environmental Council and Destined for a Change

WHAT: Jacksonville Environmental Justice Showcase Kick-off press conference

WHEN: Friday, April 30, 2010, 1 p.m. EST

WHERE: Beaver Street Enterprise Center
      1225 W. Beaver Street

Also on Friday, as part of the kick-off, EPA will host the first of a series of Community Information Exchanges from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Beaver Street Enterprise Center. EPA will provide residents with additional information about the EJ Showcase pilot and answer questions. Participants will also gain insight about the ongoing programs, resources and the efforts of federal, state and local agencies to improve human health and environmental conditions.

On Saturday, May 1, EPA and the City of Jacksonville have organized a community cleanup of the area surrounding Richard L. Brown Elementary School (1535 Milnor Street) from 8:30 to noon. The cleanup will be conducted along Deer Creek in order to bring attention to an area with suspected contamination. To sign up: www.handsonjacksonville.org or 904-630-2489.