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EPA awards $138,000 to support environmental justice projects in the Northwest and Alaska

(Seattle - Oct. 5, 2010) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded over $138,000 to six community-based organizations and tribes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington as part of the agency's Environmental Justice Small Grant Program. These grants will assist communities to address environmental and public health issues at the local level.

Nationally, EPA awarded 76 grants totaling $1.9 million to address environmental justice issues and concerns in communities throughout the United States.

"Every community deserves environmental protection and we are proud to support these projects," said Wenona Wilson, EPA's Ecosystems and Community Health Unit Manager in Seattle. "Our goal with the environmental justice program is to achieve equal environmental protection regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, or income."

The recipients are:

Alaska

Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services-$25,000 - Fairview Highway Justice Project: This project will promote awareness and public involvement in the Highway to Highway (H2H) Project by educating residents in public health, air and water quality impacts, public speaking and effective advocacy skills in order to participate in the decision making processes. POC: Hazel Blackmore, 907-677-8490, or hblackmore@nwanchorage.org. For additional information, visit: www.nwanchorage.org

Idaho

Nez Perce Tribe-$25,000 - Water Resources Protection Project: This project supports tribal implementation of surveys along with documentation of tribal youth experiences with water and sustainability projects to inform tribal members and produce a documentary video on the importance of changing demand, water quality, efficiency and protection for Tribal members and reservation communities. POC: Gwendolyn Carter, 208-843-7368, gwenc@nezperce.org


Oregon

DEPAVE-$13,350 - North Portland School Re-Greening: This project supports community green space redevelopment efforts at two elementary schools by replacing paved areas with playfields and native plantings to reduce runoff rates and allow for on-site rainwater infiltration. By replacing paved areas at both of the planned sites with playfields and native plantings, runoff rates will be reduced from 10 percent to 55 percent. POC: Ted Labbe, 503-758-9562. For additional information, visit: www.depave.org

Oregon Toxics Alliance-$24,998 - West Eugene Industrial Corridor Environmental Health Project: This project supports a partnership between Latino human services organization and an environmental health advocacy using business partnerships to engage an underserved and vulnerable community in environmental health actions in order to understand environmental pollutants and reduce exposure to toxics. POC: Lisa Arkin, 541-465-8860, larkin@oregontoxics.org. For additional information, visit: www.centrolatinoamericano.org.

Washington

Center for Human Services-$25,000 - Ballinger Sustainability Initiative: This project will promote sustainability practices and climate change awareness though service learning, education, and workshops with residents at Ballinger Homes, an underrepresented and diverse community of immigrants and English learners in a low-income urban area. POC: Jane Hinton, 206-383-8344, jane.lorraine.hinton@gmail.com. For additional information, visit: www.chs-nw.org

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association-$25,000 - Common Water/Common Roots: This project supports community-based streamside habitat restoration, integrating education, voluntary involvement of tribal members and other community volunteers in protecting waterways, reducing the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, and recovering wild salmonid populations within eight local watersheds in the Pacific Northwest. POC: Lindsay Taylor, 360-715-0283 x112, ltaylor@n-sea.org.

For additional information about EJ Small Grants, visit:

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html or EPA's national news release, visit: http://go.usa.gov/ai9

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