POSTED: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 4:04am
DALLAS, TX — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a total of $1.1 million in competitive grants to 39 non-profit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide, including several in New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. 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.
“These grants are one more step in EPA’s ongoing efforts to help communities with environmental and public health issues,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “We’re giving residents and community-based organizations the tools they need to make informed decisions about the environment around them.”
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.
Winners include the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project in Zuni, NM, which will educate young people about the importance of environmental stewardship from a Native American perspective. Participants will engage in a variety of projects, including recycling initiatives, reducing solid waste, and protecting native lands.
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.