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Environmental Justice Grants of $25,000 Awarded to Migrant Farmworkers Project and El Centro, Inc., of Kansas City

Release Date: 12/19/2011
Contact Information: Benjamin Washburn, (913) 551-7364, washburn.ben@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Dec. 19, 2011) - EPA has awarded Environmental Justice Grants of $25,000 each to the Migrant Farmworkers Project of Kansas City, Mo., and El Centro, Inc., of Kansas City, Kan.

The $25,000 grant to Migrant Farmworkers Project will address public health issues facing migrant and seasonal farm workers in Lafayette County, Mo. This project will train local farm workers to educate their community about public health issues that affect migrant and seasonal farm workers, adults, and children in the county. The project seeks to increase awareness about the safe handling of agricultural chemicals, the disposal, reuse and recycling of solid waste, and the prevention, detection and treatment of lead poisoning. Farm workers will also learn how to communicate and respond to emergency weather advisories and about the effects of air pollution, such as childhood asthma.

The $25,000 grant to El Centro, Inc., will be used to engage and inform the community about issues surrounding the redevelopment of the ECI Business Park in Kansas City, Kan. The site is the former location of a silver smelter and a structural steel plant. There are many on-site environmental hazards that preclude using the property for purposes such as housing. The project will empower local residents and stakeholders to facilitate the environmentally sensitive reuse and redevelopment of the site and help transform what has been perceived as a liability into a productive community asset.

“Working for environmental justice is one of the seven priorities of EPA and Administrator Lisa P. Jackson,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks. “These grants will allow the communities to educate local residents about environmental concerns that impact their daily lives.”

EPA’s environmental justice efforts aim to ensure equal environmental and health protections for all Americans, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. The grants enable non-profit, faith-based, or tribal organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in communities overburdened by harmful pollution.

While announcing the awarding of its 2011 grants, EPA has also launched its 2012 grant solicitation. EPA will award $1 million in Environmental Justice Grants in 2012. Applicants must be incorporated non-profit, faith-based, or tribal organizations working to educate, empower, and enable their communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues. EPA will host three pre-application teleconference calls to help applicants understand the requirements. The dates of the teleconference calls are January 12, 2012, February 1, 2012, and February 15, 2012. The deadline to apply for the 2012 grants is February 29, 2012.

Information about the Environment Justice Small Grants 2012 Request for Applications and a schedule of pre-application teleconference calls is available online (47 pp, 636K, About PDF).

Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, the environmental justice small grants program has provided more than $23 million in funding to community-based nonprofit organizations and local governments working to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,200 communities. The grants represent EPA’s commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and advance environmental justice in communities across the nation.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, purposes, goals, and general procedures, please contact EPA Region 7 at 1-800-223-0425.

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