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Environmental Justice Grant Will Aid Barrow, Alaska Community

Release Date: 03/24/2009
Contact Information: Running Grass, Environmental Justice Program Manager, (206) 553-2899, grass.running@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov Price D. Leavitt Sr., Project Contact, (907) 852-4227, icas.executive@barrow.com

Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope Receives $20,000 from EPA

(Barrow, Alaska – March 24, 2009) The Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS), located in Barrow, Alaska, is receiving a $20,000 Environmental Justice Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the ICAS project is to ensure that local people have a voice in the decision making on oil and gas development projects in their village and the offshore area adjacent to it, which they depend upon for subsistence.

"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 project goal will be achieved by identifying and documenting subsistence practices of local indigenous people, identifying the marine resources upon which they depend, and incorporating that information into the development planning process at a stage early enough that the information can be effectively utilized to avoid detrimental impacts.

The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $800,000 in grants to organizations working with communities facing environmental justice challenges throughout the country. Forty community-based organizations (four per region) will receive grants of $20,000 each for projects on 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.

For additional information about Environmental Justice Grant Awards, please see the national news release: EPA Awards $800,000 in Environmental Justice Grants to Communities in 28 States.

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