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EPA Awards Five Environmental Justice Grants in the Southeast

Release Date: 04/20/2011
Contact Information: James Pinkney, (404) 562-9183, pinkney.james@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – April 20, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it awarded five cooperative agreements to local non-profit community-based organizations in the Southeast to support the protection of human health and the environment in communities affected by the BP oil spill.

“EPA is pleased to continue providing support to Gulf Coast communities affected by the BP oil spill,” said Gwen Keyes Fleming, Region 4 Administrator. “These grants will help communities understand, identify and take an active role in solving local environmental problems.”

Grant projects range from providing information to help Gulf Coast residents make informed decisions about seafood safety to helping residents identify and plant native plants to educating youth to monitor their air, water and soil quality. Each grant recipient will receive $30,000 for their respective projects.

Organizations receiving grants in the Southeast:

    Alabama Costal Foundation (Mobile, AL) will create a citizen’s guide to understanding and monitoring sampling data. They will also host a series of workshops translating scientific data to plain language.
    Citizens Against Toxic Exposure (CATE) (Pensacola, FL) will host community discussions and training sessions concerning the BP Oil Spill. They will also conduct water/ soil sampling and identify health risk.
    The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Inc. (Multi-state/ AL,FL,MS, LA) will create a coastal communication strategy to monitor the BP waste; educate community on scientific data, health impacts and health protection strategies; and create a train-the-trainer model.
    Faith Answers (Gulfport, MS) will identify threats of contaminated waters, health issues, and provide leadership training concerning tainted seafood.
    Japanese American Citizens League (Biloxi, MS) will create linguistically appropriate materials for Vietnamese American populations and host educational sessions about health impacts.

EPA developed the grant program after meeting with local organizations in the Gulf Region and learning that there was a need for technical assistance to support educational outreach to communities affected by the BP oil spill. Providing grant funding directly to local organizations helps ensure that information is distributed through trusted networks of communication and from organizations that will continue to support efforts to rebuild.

More information on the Environmental Justice Small Grant program:
http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html