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Communities with environmental justice concerns are invited by EPA to apply for funding

Release Date: 04/10/2008
Contact Information: Running Grass, EPA Environmental Justice Program Manager, (206) 553-2899, grass.running@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle, Wash. – April 10, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now seeking grant applications for projects to assist low-income and minority communities to develop locally-based solutions to their sometimes disproportionate share of environmental and public health issues.

Nationally, up to $800,000 is available to non-profit organizations, a city, township, county government, or Native American tribal government through EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice. Grants will be awarded through the Environmental Justice Small Grants Programs (EJSG).

For the Pacific Northwest, EPA anticipates awarding up to four grants in the amount of $20,000 per award. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The deadline for grant applications is June 30, 2008.

According to Elin Miller, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle, EPA and Region 10 are committed to environmental justice, ensuring equal environmental protection under the law.

“EPA has made progress at both the national level and in the region to ensure that all people receive fair treatment and meaningful involvement in our efforts to protect human health and the environment,” said EPA’s Miller.

The EJSG Program is designed to assist receipients in building collaborative partnerships that will help them understand and address the environmental and/or public health issues in their communities. Successful collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders involve well-designed strategic plans to build, maintain and sustain the partnerships, and to work towards addressing the local environmental and/or public health issues.

Two Pacific Northwest organizations have received these grants in the recent past:

Alaska Community Action for Toxics (ACAT) (Anchorage, AK)
Project Description: An ACAT research team will partner with the community to sample the water of the Suqi River, test for contaminants, and identify the existing toxics to be remediated. ACAT will work together with communities and partners to plan the restoration of the Suqi River. For additional information about ACAT, visit: http://www.akaction.org/ or (907) 222-7714.

Organizing People, Activating Leaders (OPAL) (Portland, OR)
Project Description: This project will focus on three national environmental justice priorities: (1) reducing asthma attacks; (2) reducing exposure to air toxics; and (3) revitalizing contaminated sites. OPAL will incorporate the first two priorities –asthma and air toxics- within Portland’s I-205 Breathe Campaign. OPAL intends to empower the community through education; training and outreach which will help stimulate leadership development; and proactive involvement around social and environmental justice issues. For additional information about OPAL, visit: http://www.opalpdx.org/ or (503) 997-3853.

For additional information about these grant programs, visit the following website:
http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html

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