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EPA Awards $80,000 in Environmental Justice Grants

Release Date: 03/24/2009
Contact Information: LaTonya Sanders, (913) 551-7555, sanders.latonya@epa.gov



Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., March 24, 2009) - EPA Region 7 has awarded grants to support projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community in Missouri and Nebraska.

The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program is designed to help communities understand and address their exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. The long-term goals of the EJSG Program are to help build the capacity of the affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environments in the future.

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.

The regional office received and reviewed 11 grant proposals. Those chosen were:

MISSOURI

Metropolitan Energy Center; Kansas City, $20,000 to train residents who are part of, or wish to become part of, the workforce of the housing industry dealing with energy efficiency and environmental health issues in residential structures. The project will conduct residential energy efficiency and environmental health workshops and training. The goal of this project is to increase the awareness of home related energy and environmental problems with particular emphasis on Spanish-speaking homes, through public education and awareness.

Legal Aid of Western Missouri (Migrant Farmworkers' Project); Kansas City, $20,000 to address critical environmental and public health issues affecting the community of migrants and seasonal farmworker adults and children in Lafayette County. The project will help migrant families to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the dangers of lead poisoning and exposure to chemicals and will empower them to practice preventative measures. The goal of this project is to reduce the incidence of environmentally-linked health problems, increase environmentally literacy and have more meaningful involvement of migrant families in environmental practices that affect them.

NEBRASKA

Father Flanagan's Boy's Home; Boy's Town, $20,000 to screen patients for environmental concerns adversely affecting their health, make appropriate referrals to assistance providers, and work collaboratively with them to address their patients' health and environmental concerns as part of the health care team. The project will provide families served by this clinic information and resources on their legal rights related to their home environments as well as materials on how to foster relationships with medical and legal professionals to address their concerns. The goal of this project is to promote partnerships to address environmental justice and health concerns in the poor communities of North and South Omaha.

Public Health Solutions (PHS) District Health Department; Crete, $20,000 to improve the overall health and safety of roughly 4,000 children in the rural five-county health district PHS serves. This project will provide lead poisoning awareness and prevention education and information to parents of at-risk children and primary care physicians. The goal of the project is to increase accessibility to blood lead level testing and lead information for parents of young children, and to increase the lead safety of at-risk houses.