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EPA Grant to Help Newark Community Target Environmental Problems

Release Date: 03/11/2010
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(Newark, N.J.) In a move that will give the Ironbound community better information about local pollution problems, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has awarded $100,000 under its Community Action for a Renewed Environment or CARE program to the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC). The not-for-profit organization will use the funding to identify and address pollution problems in the Ironbound community, with a focus on exploring the cumulative impacts of the multiple sources of pollution and finding ways to reduce the risks that they pose.

“EPA is proud to work in partnership with Ironbound to work in identifying and finding solutions to the environmental impacts affecting N.J.’s largest city,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “This CARE project will tap into local expertise to address environmental issues by finding consensus within the community and focusing on targeting actions that can ultimately bring some relief to people in the places they live, work and raise families.”

“Under the Booker Administration, the City is committed to making Newark a sustainable community to live, work, and play,” said Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Stefan Pryor.  “We are working together with residents, community organizations, businesses and local, state, and federal agencies to make Newark a greener, greater city.”

“The Ironbound Community Corporation is proud to be a recipient of the prestigious EPA CARE grant,“ said Joseph Della Fave, ICC Executive Director. “The Ironbound CARE Cumulative Impacts Project will be an important step toward improving the environmental quality and public health in the Ironbound."

Ironbound Community Corporation is the largest comprehensive social service provider located in the East Ward of Newark, NJ. The community that will be served has a population of more than 50,000 people and is one of the most densely populated and diverse areas of the city. In this area, 75% of those over the age of five speak a foreign language, typically Portuguese or Spanish. 55% of those over 18 do not have a high school diploma. Census tracts in the neighborhood range from 25% to 55% of households below the poverty level and the latest Bureau of Labor estimate shows Newark’s unemployment level at 15%. The wide variety of pollutants in the Ironbound -- from both existing and former chemical plants, from waste industries, and mobile sources like trucks, airplanes, and ships, -- require a comprehensive and innovative approach to decrease risks of exposure. For the CARE Project, ICC will bring together local residents, business and community group representatives, members of the academic and governmental sectors to help gather information about current and potential environmental problems. Community workshops will be held. The project will make information accessible in multiple languages. The project will take into account community experiences, socio-economic and public health data to better determine the community’s vulnerability to pollution exposure. The project will also investigate the cumulative impacts of these environmental burdens and utilize a consensus process to prioritize issues that must be addressed. Ultimately, ICC and involved project partners will work with the public to identify strategies for reducing or mitigating impacts and secure commitments for action.

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for a community to organize and take action to reduce toxic pollution in its local environment. This is one of three level one grants being awarded nationwide at this time. Through CARE, a community creates a partnership that implements solutions to reduce toxic pollutants and minimize people's exposure to them. By providing financial and technical assistance, EPA helps CARE communities get on the path to a renewed environment and CARE has been providing financial assistance to communities since 2005 and expects to award nearly $2.2 million nationwide in 2010.

For more information, visit EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/CARE

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