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EPA Grant Provides Capacity-Building Skills to Fort Collins Hardrock Mining Watershed Groups

Release Date: 03/24/2009
Contact Information: Nancy Reish, 303-312-6040; Art Palomares, 303-312-6053; Laura Niles, 303-312-6281

(Denver, Colo. – March 24, 2009) A grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help Ft. Collins hardrock mining watershed groups build skills to address local environmental justice issues and better understand environmental regulation. The grant was awarded today under EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants program.

    "Colorado's minority and low-income communities need support as they develop the capacity to respond to human health and environmental issues," said Art Palomares, Director of EPA's Environmental Justice program in Denver. “Citizens of Fort Collins will gain thorough insight into solving complex environmental justice issues through this grant.”

    The organization Trees, Water & People of Fort Collins, Colo. received $20,000 in grant funding from EPA to provide capacity–building skills to at least 15 hardrock mining watershed groups representing 672,347 citizens at two training sessions in the spring and fall. Participants will gain the following primary skills sets upon completing the two sessions: 1) greater community capacity to identify local environmental justice issues and empower the community to seek changes in the identified issues; 2) increased knowledge of non-profit capacity building, watershed issues, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act; 3) networking opportunities; and 4) technical assistance in grant writing, board development and volunteer monitoring programs.

    EPA established the Environmental Justice Small Grants program in 1994 to support and empower communities that are working on local solutions to local environmental and/or public health issues. The grants are designed to assist recipients in building collaborative partnerships that will help them understand and address the environmental and/or public health issues in their communities.

    Information on the environmental justice grants: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html