EPA Awards $1.9 Million in Environmental Justice Grants
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.9 million in environmental justice grants to 76 non-profit organizations and local governments working on environmental justice issues nationwide. The grants are designed to help communities understand and address environmental challenges and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships focused on improving human health and the environment at the local level. The grant program supports Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's priority to expand the conversation on environmentalism and work for environmental justice.
"Through our efforts to support local environmental justice projects, we are advancing EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment in communities overburdened by pollution," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Providing training to develop a skilled green workforce will help communities become more resilient in the face of economic and environmental changes and help build healthy and sustainable communities."
The principles of environmental justice uphold the idea that all communities overburdened by pollution - particularly minority, low income and indigenous communities - deserve the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, equal access to the decision-making process and a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.
In addition to the traditional criteria, EPA encouraged applications focused on addressing the disproportionate impacts of climate change in communities by emphasizing climate equity, energy efficiency, renewable energy, local green economy, and green jobs capacity building. Grantee projects include trainings for local residents to increase recycling, avoiding heat stroke, improving indoor air quality, reducing carbon emissions through weatherization, and green jobs training programs.
Since 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants program has provided more than $21 million in funding to community-based nonprofit organizations and local governments working to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,200 communities. The $1.9 million in grant funding announced today is the largest amount of total funding in one year for environmental justice grants in more than a decade. The grant awards represent EPA's commitment to promoting community-based actions to address environmental justice issues.
More information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants program and a list of grantees: