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Environmental Justice Grant Will Aid Rock Hill, S.C., Community

Release Date: 04/02/2009
Contact Information: (ATLANTA – APRIL 2, 2009) The U.S. EPA Region 4 today awarded A Place for Hope, Inc., in Rock Hill, S.C., a $20,000 Environmental Justice Small Grant. The award is among approximately $800,000 in grants made by EPA to organizations working with communities facing environmental justice challenges throughout the country. Forty grants, up to $20,000 each, are going to community-based organizations and local and tribal governments in 28 states for community projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues. “These grants mark the beginning of a full-scale revitalization of what we do and how we think about environmental justice,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Environmental justice is not an issue we can afford to relegate to the margins. It has to be part of our thinking in every decision we make.” Nationally, grant recipients will use the money to create healthy, sustainable communities through dozens of local projects aligned with Administrator Jackson’s top five priorities—improving air quality, managing chemical risks, cleaning up hazardous-waste disposal sites, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting America’s water. The goal of the Rock Hill project is to engage the residents of the Blackmon Road community, an environmentally and economically distressed area, in addressing local environmental and health concerns. As part of the project, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will conduct an assessment of water and sewer needs in the community. A public health needs assessment will also be conducted, and monthly educational programs will be planned to address residents’ most pressing health and environmental concerns. Presenting the award, EPA Region 4 Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Beverly Banister said, “We look forward to working with A Place for Hope, the impacted community and our many partners, including the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, York County, Catawba Region Council of Governments and the University of South Carolina School of Public Health, on this important project.” Financial assistance under the environmental justice small grants program is available to all non-profit organizations designated by the IRS or recognized by the state, territory, commonwealth or tribe in which it is located. This assistance is also available to city, township, county government and their entities, as well as federally recognized Native American tribal governments. In the 15 years since initiating the environmental justice small grants program, EPA has awarded more than $20 million in funding to assist 1,130 community-based organizations and local and tribal governments. For more information on the grants program: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/index.html