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Two New Jersey Non-Profits Receive EPA Grants to Address Environmental Justice Concerns

Release Date: 11/16/2000
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(#00208) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted nearly $25,000 to non-profit groups in Newark and Piscataway, New Jersey to help them address environmental justice issues in their communities.

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in how the nation’s environmental laws are developed, complied with and enforced.

The grant recipients in New Jersey are:

Greater Newark Conservancy – Funding Awarded: $14,906

The Newark Recycling Outreach Project will address the environmental justice issue of recycling in Newark. The Greater Newark Conservancy will work with local community groups to increase the recycling rate in a target community in Newark’s Central Ward. All of the city’s residential nonbulk waste eventually goes to an incinerator in Newark’s East Ward. This is significant because Newark already has a serious air pollution problem, and the incinerator emissions may contribute to elevated levels of asthma for city residents. Higher recycling rates will lead directly to a reduction in residential solid waste and the need for incineration, which can help stem the air pollution problem at the local level.

Rutgers, The State UniversityFunding Awarded: $10,000

The Community University Consortium for Regional Environmental Justice at Rutgers University-Newark will work within their partner communities (including a number in Newark) to expand its program to identify and map environmental and human health risks at the local level. The grant monies will be used to develop a formal training program and manual on how to create and to use community-specific risk-maps and to develop an automated method of linking community-designed base maps to a full range of information available on the Web.

In its 1992 report, Environmental Equity: Reducing Risk for All Communities, EPA found that minority and low-income populations may experience higher than average exposure to toxic pollutants than the general population. In response, EPA established the Office of Environmental Justice in 1992 to help these communities identify and assess sources of pollution in their midst, and to inform and train residents so they can be involved in making environmental improvements in their neighborhoods.