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EPA awards environmental justice grants to three Colorado groups

Release Date: 12/06/2012
Contact Information: Contacts: Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (303)312-6077; April Nowak (303)312-6528

Organizations in Pueblo, Conejos County and Denver receive $25,000 each to educate communities about indoor air quality, air monitoring and clean water

(Denver, Colo. – December 6, 2012) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a total of $1.2 million in competitive grants awarded to 50 non-profit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. The grants enable non-profit organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in communities overburdened by harmful pollution. Three of these grants, in the amount of $25,000 each, were awarded to organizations in Colorado.

“EPA’s environmental justice grants provide important support to community-based organizations working to advance environmental justice at the local level,” said Lisa Garcia, senior advisor to the administrator for environmental justice. “This year’s grants will help organizations in 26 states and Puerto Rico to perform projects that will educate residents about issues that may impact their health, collect data about local environmental conditions, and work to address environmental justice issues in their communities.”

Citizens for Clean Air in Pueblo will educate community members about reducing exposures to toxic chemicals and indoor air pollutants. This project will provide resources and education to low-income, minority residents in an effort to prevent and help alleviate threats to public health. Project organizers will introduce a complete “Healthy Homes” concept through a series of community presentations and will teach residents how to assess indoor air quality, analyze health and safety hazards, and report and address exposure to toxic substances. Residents will also receive information on how to prevent health risks by using safe and low-cost maintenance and sanitary practices. (Contact: Margaret Barber – 719.489.2078)

Conejos County Clean Water will establish an air monitoring station that will collect toxic particulate matter for laboratory analysis. The project’s organizers will educate and train community members on the air monitoring process and collaborate with partners to analyze the data. These baseline data will inform and enable the community to influence decisions that impact residents’ health and the environment in the future. Conejos County Clean Water is also collecting environmental and health information in the county, including baseline data on air, water, and soil quality. Health data collected will focus on degenerative diseases such as reproductive cancer and asthma. (Contact: Andrea Guajardo - 720.939.9948)

Environmental Learning for Kids will educate Denver-area youth on clean water and air issues through outdoor and nature-based activities. Youth will participate in outdoor and nature-based education that will focus on the specific sources and impacts of pollution and opportunities for reducing and preventing pollution. This project will also educate the community about environmental justice issues and build consensus through youth-led community forums in low-income and minority communities in metropolitan Denver. (Contact: Stacie Gilmore - 303-371-8658)

Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, EPA’s environmental justice small grants program has supported projects to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,300 communities. The grants represent EPA’s continued commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and advance environmental justice in communities across the nation.

2012 EJ Small Grant recipients and project descriptions: http://www.epa.govenvironmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/ej-smgrants-recipients-2012.pdf

More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html

Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY 2013 Environmental Justice Small Grants and schedule of pre-application teleconference calls:
http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/ej-smgrants-rfp-2013.pdf