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Ten New England Community-Based Nonprofits Receive EPA Grants to Help Reduce Environmental Risks

Release Date: 10/18/2010
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. - Oct. 18, 2010) - Ten New England nonprofit groups have been selected to receive an EPA Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grant award. All ten award recipients will carry out a project that forms collaborative partnerships, educates the community, develops a comprehensive understanding of the local environmental and/or public health issues and identifies ways to address these issues at the local level. Each grant is worth $25,000.

The EJ Small Grants Program is designed to help communities understand and address their exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. The long-term goals of the grant program are to help build the capacity of an affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environmental in the future. This years recipients are the following:

CT Coalition for EJ
 “Hartford Recycles”

Through outreach and technical assistance, CCEJ will educate 900 residents of multi-family housing about recycling and increase tonnage of recyclables collected from Hartford’s multi-family housing and small businesses by 1,000 tons over the next year.

EJ League of Rhode Island 
“Community-Based Home Weatherization in Providence”

EJLRI will expand their community barn-raising program by conducting 10 barn-raising events and conducting “team leader” trainings about basic home energy evaluations and home weatherization tasks for approximately 40 low and moderate income residents.

Groundwork Somerville
“Groundwork Somerville Green Team: Combating Climate Change on a Local Level”

Through its "Combating Climate Change on a Local Level" project, Groundwork Somerville’s (GWS) High School Green Team will conduct a 20-week, door-to-door energy efficiency campaign focused on encouraging residents and business owners in the East Somerville and Clarendon Hill communities to replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs. The Green Team also will host three “Energy Education Fairs.” The fairs will focus on reducing home energy consumption, implementing energy-efficiency measures, and highlighting critical links between home energy use and climate change impacts. The goals of the project are to build awareness and provide practical instruction about home energy efficiency and how it relates to global climate change.

Boston Public Health Commission
“Boston Safe Shops Project”

The Safe Shop project protects the health and well being of workers in small automotive repair shops and the neighborhoods in which they are located by preventing air pollution, promoting green jobs growth, and connecting workers with education and health care resources. This funding will offer a new component to this project – a skills training program leading to certification on repair and maintenance of hybrid vehicles. Outreach staff will contact all 500+ auto shops in Boston offering them free training on the repair and maintenance of hybrid vehicles. The focus for this training is on the residential neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and East Boston. Training will be offered to one student from the first 12 shops that respond who meet the entrance criteria.

Chelsea Neighborhood Development
“Cleaner Chelsea Campaign”

Chelsea Neighborhood Development's "Cleaner Chelsea Campaign" will educate residents about new trash collection procedures, reduce litter on the streets, and increase recycling tonnage in Chelsea. Through community and City partnerships, the Cleaner Chelsea Campaign will coordinate city-wide public outreach and education about recycling which will include home visits, distribution of recycling bins, and house meetings. The project goal is to increase recycling from 7% to 14% citywide.

Groundwork Lawrence
“GreenStreets-Planting Trees to Address Climate Change”

The GreenStreets tree planting program works to increase vital tree cover in a sustainable manner in low-income urban environments. The program is designed to increase Lawrence’s urban tree canopy by placing a particular emphasis on institutionalizing setback tree planting efforts in affordable housing and first-time homebuyer programs and developing urban tree stewards to ensure proper maintenance and care.

Central Maine Community Health Corps-HA
“New Mainer Healthy Homes Advocacy and Education Project”

Central Maine Community Health Corp/Healthy Androscoggin's "New Mainer Healthy Homes Advocacy and Education Project" will help New Mainers, resettled immigrant families, understand their rights to quality housing that is free of lead, pests, mold, and harmful pesticides.   The overall purpose of the project is to empower New Mainers with the knowledge to protect their families from these environmental hazards. The goals of the project will be achieved by utilizing the Healthy Homes Healthy Families community partnership and will include education, home visits, and recruiting and training of Neighbor-to-Neighbor community educators.

Worcester Roots
“Toxic Soil Busters: Soil Science Research for Healthy Neighborhoods”

The Toxic Soil Busters project will increase the body of research on lead soil remediation, increase public awareness of soil contamination, build community capacity by training 10 local youth on soil science research, and remediate 8 lead contaminated yards in Worcester.

Providence Community Opportunity Corporation
“Expanding Recycling in Public Housing for Elderly and Disabled”

The project will expand recycling efforts to Providence Public Housing Authority for elderly and disabled residents and divert mainstream waste into recyclables to reduce the number of dumpsters for solid waste and reduce carbon emissions.

Main South Community Development Corporation
“Building Community Participation in Clean Energy and Infrastructure Projects in Worcester’s Kilby/ Gardener/ Hammond Neighborhoods”

The project goal is to assist residents in Worcester with developing knowledge about the Clean Energy and Green Infrastructure sector to positively impact quality of life and health. To achieve this goal, the project will obtain youth input on program design, conduct door-to-door canvassing, coordinate public forums and small group sessions, participate in City Council Meetings and develop and disseminate educational materials.

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.

More information:
- EJ Small Grant program (epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html#applications)
- EJ Issues in New England (http://epa.gov/ne/ej/index.html)

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