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Portland Community Members Will Benefit from Environmental Justice Grants

Release Date: 03/24/2009
Contact Information: Running Grass, Environmental Justice Program Manager, (206) 553-2899, grass.running@epa.gov Judy Smith, EPA Public Affairs, (503) 326-6994, smith.judy@epa.gov

Verde and Multnomah County Health Each Receive $20,000 from EPA
(Portland, Oregon – March 24, 2009) Today, two Portland organizations have been awarded $20,000 grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help ensure that people in all communities can play an active role in environmental and health projects that affect them.

Verde, a nonprofit group, will use their grant to help residents of the Hacienda, a Community Development Corporation affordable housing project in northeast Portland, be better able to participate in a major sustainable redevelopment project.

Multnomah County Health Department will use their grant to identify opportunities to reach underserved community members and invite them to participate in the Multnomah County Sustainability Program.

"These grants help communities take an active role in solving local environmental problems," said Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA’s acting Regional Administrator in Seattle. “EPA is committed to ensuring that all people receive fair treatment and meaningful involvement in our efforts to protect human health and the environment.”

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a total of $800,000 in grants to 40 community-based organizations throughout the country who work with communities facing environmental justice challenges. Projects address a range of environmental and public health issues such as exposure to toxins, farm worker pesticide protection, fish consumption, indoor air quality, drinking water contamination, and pollution from shipping ports. Other Pacific Northwest grant recipients were located in Barrow, Alaska and Seattle, Washington.

Additional information about the Portland grant recipients and the national EPA Environmental Justice Small Grant Awards announcement are attached.

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Portland Grantee Information (excerpted from the national summary list):

Grantee: Verde (Portland, Oregon) This project will build the capacity of low-income, people-of-color residents of NE Portland and residents of the Hacienda CDC’s affordable housing project, to participate in and benefit from a major sustainable redevelopment project in their neighborhood. The project will include intensive outreach and education to local residents on the economic, environmental and public health challenges and benefits of the redevelopment project.
Contact:
Alan Hipólito, Executive Director, Verde, 503.980.5260, alan@verdenw.org

Grantee: Multnomah County Health Department (Portland, Oregon) This project will educate low-income and minority communities in the Portland area about sustainable ecological, economic and public health development practices. The recipient will build community capacity to benefit from and participate meaningfully in sustainability initiatives, while enhancing the accountability. The project will strengthen the capacity of the Multnomah County Sustainability Program to reach underserved and disproportionately impacted communities.
Contacts:
Kat West, Sustainability Manager, Multnomah County Sustainability Program, (503) 988-4092, kathleen.s.west@co.multnomah.or.us
Tim Lynch, Multnomah County Sustainability Program, (503) 988-4094, tim.j.lynch@co.multnomah.or.us