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West Salt Lake (Utah) project earns EPA environmental justice grant

Release Date: 09/19/2013
Contact Information: U.S. EPA: Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654; Communidades Unidas: 801-487-4143

Communidades Unidas to focus on healthy indoor environments in immigrant communities

(Denver, Colorado – September 19, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing Communidades Unidas of West Salt Lake City, Utah with a 2013 Environmental Justice Small grant. The nonprofit organization will receive $29,772 to educate residents and reduce exposure to indoor health hazards.

Communidades Unidas is among 39 non-profit and tribal organizations nationwide receiving a total of $1.1 million in competitive grants to address environmental justice issues. The grants will enable the organizations to develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in low-income, minority and tribal communities overburdened by harmful pollution.

Comunidades Unidas will use the EPA grant to educate and empower members of the minority and immigrant communities located on the west side of Salt Lake City. Residents will learn to effectively address environmental issues affecting area children and families including reducing hazardous wastes and toxic substances found in homes and community spaces. The goals of the project are to educate and train residents about the appropriate uses and disposal of household chemicals, the elimination of contamination and sanitation in community spaces, and how to utilize peer-based support to provide assistance to high risk families.

“EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants are making a visible difference in communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These grants help build capacity, raise awareness, and equip communities with the tools to address environmental challenges – from climate change impacts to brownfields and water pollution. I’m proud to continue to promote these important grants and advance EPA’s long-term commitment to our community stakeholders.”

The 2013 grants support activities that address a range of community concerns such as reducing exposure to indoor environmental asthma triggers, restoring and protecting waterways, educating child care professionals on ways to prevent lead poisoning, and reducing pesticide use in child care facilities.

Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, EPA’s environmental justice small grants program has supported projects to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,400 communities. The grant awards represent EPA’s commitment to promoting community-based actions to address environmental justice issues.

In the fall of 2013, EPA will issue a Request for Proposals for the FY 2014 Collaborative Problem Solving Grants. A schedule of pre-application community stakeholder teleconference calls will be announced at that time.

Communidades Unidas:

2013 EJ Small Grant recipients and project descriptions:

More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program: