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Environmental Justice Grant Will Aid Central Kentucky Communities

Release Date: 04/02/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – APRIL 2, 2009) The U.S. EPA Region 4 today announced that the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) in Lexington, Ky., is the recipient of 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 LFUCG project is to reduce pediatric lead exposure among children in the central part of Kentucky. LFUCG will use the grant to expand its services to Medicaid eligible children up to age six within a five county area. LFUCG housing inspectors will be trained and will conduct in-home lead-based paint inspections. The inspectors will follow-up with families by providing them with pertinent information about avoiding lead hazards.

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