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Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE)

Community Profiles 2007

Level I

Level II

Level I

Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
Phoenix, Arizona
EPA Region 9

The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), Inc. is a recipient of the Level I CARE cooperative agreement. ITCA is a non-profit corporation that organizes and conducts seminars, workshops, conferences, and public hearings to facilitate participation of tribal leaders in the formulation of public policy at all levels. ITCA provides an independent source to obtain analysis and disseminate information vital to Indian self-development.  Since 1973, ITCA has entered cooperative agreements with the EPA to establish a mechanism whereby tribes in Arizona may be funded to develop and implement environmental protection programs on tribal lands. Through the CARE project, ITCA will create a Community partnership within the Gila River Indian Community to identify and prioritize environmental toxics. The end result of this project will be to create a Community Risk Reduction Plan to detail how the Community will carry out the priorities in reducing risk from toxics. ITCA works and collaborates closely with the 20 member tribes in Arizona, as well as State and county agencies. The project will include involvement and collaboration of local jurisdictions and other collaborative partners as well as focus on concerns within the community. The community is concerned about the amount of dust being generated by the agricultural practices/productions. Pesticide use and mold within the homes are also significant health concerns within the community.

Prospective CARE Partners: The Gila River Indian Community, the Indian Health Service, Hu Hu Kam Hospital, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Tribal Air Quality Program and the Epidemiology Center, the University of Arizona, Pinal County, Arizona State University, the Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals, Maricopa County and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

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Bay Point Latino Environmental Action Project
Martinez, California
EPA Region 9

The Bay Point Latino Environmental Action Project (LEAP) is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. This partnership consists of Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), the lead agency administering the cooperative agreement, the Bay Point Partnership and the University of San Francisco’s Department of Environmental Health Science.

The partnership will expand current efforts to work on environmental justice issues and will further develop successive layers of community leadership and capacity around outreach, education, and community mobilization. LEAP was established by CCHS under the auspices of the Bay Point partnership in 2005.  LEAP, based on prior work in the community, identified three areas of interest with respect to toxic exposures: industrial releases; consumption of contaminated fish; and illegal dumping. LEAP will build on current efforts to increase the ability of the predominantly low-income Latino community in Bay Point to identify local environmental hazards and mobilize the broader community to take actions to reduce these hazards. CARE funding will help the project to further its priority-setting process by providing residents with more advanced training and technical assistance on toxics in their environment; expanding their research on existing environmental indicators; and gathering information about community perceptions of risk and actual risks behaviors.

Prospective CARE Partners: Latino Neighborhood Action Team (NAT); University of San Francisco; Gateway High School; Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CARE); Bay Point Partnership; Center for Human Development, local community-based organizations; the Bay Point Promotoras; Mt. Diablo Unified School District; the Bay Point Residents Association; Ambrose Recreation and Park District; the League of United Latino American Citizens and others.

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City and County of Denver 
Department of Environmental Health
West Denver CARE
Denver, Colorado
EPA Region 8

West Denver Care is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement.  The City of Denver Department of Environmental Health (DEH) mission is to promote healthy communities and with its partner, Denver Public Health (DPH), provide essential environmental public health services for Denver residents.  Together, DEH and DPH are the Denver’s authorized public health authority, providing public and environmental health services in Denver.  West Denver Care (WDC), will address public health and environmental concerns within a place-based community defined by eight geographically contiguous neighborhoods (Barnum, Barnum West, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park, West Colfax, Auraria/Lincoln Park and Baker) covering 8.5 square miles.  This community has vulnerable populations, including a high percent of low-income Hispanic and foreign born residents. 

The WDC will engage a high-risk community through broad-based stakeholder groups and newly created partnerships.  The project will integrate Denver Listens Keypad technology with the PACE-EH model, resulting in the development of a community environmental action plan.  This process is designed to understand the connections between the environment, human health and wellbeing. The project will focus on which groups in the community are currently experiencing, or likely to experience an increased risk or disproportionate share of adverse health effects from environmental hazards.  The WDC will also address actions that can be taken to protect human health and the environment along side resources and barriers related to these actions, the effectiveness of current environmental health protection measures, and key environmental resources in the community of West Denver.

Established CARE Partnerships:  Denver Health Public Health, Denver Health Community Voices, Denver Health Community Health Services, Groundwork Denver, Denver Public Schools, Northeast Denver Housing Center, Del Norte Neighborhood Development Co., National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver Urban Gardens, and the State of Colorado Asthma Program; Research Center;  and the Denver Urban Gardens.

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Garfield County Public Health Department  
Rifle, Colorado
EPA Region 8

Garfield County Public Health Department (Garfield County) is a recipient of the Level I cooperative agreement.  Through the CARE cooperative agreement grant the County will further define the nature and extent of environmental health concerns related to rapid community and industrial growth in Garfield County and pursue, with broad-community involvement, a process that establishes, prioritizes, and begins implementing responses that protect the environment and public health.  In efforts to respond to the community’s environmental health concerns, Garfield County will utilize project partners’ perspective, experience, and expertise to develop a detailed community environmental health assessment for community leaders of what is known today about Garfield County’s environmental health status.  Using the content of the assessment and information from other community assessments, Garfield County will also write and creatively distribute a Comprehensive Guide to a Healthy Garfield County.  This product will target the general community-wide audience and offer citizens a current understanding of multi-media environmental health issues.  It will also offer a host of ideas for addressing concerns and what the solutions will mean for their day-to-day lives.  The guide will ensure that the community understands why its leaders are taking the initiative to evaluate health and environmental concerns and will give the community the actual tools to actively participate in a dialogue about how to respond to these problems and live with the solutions.  The final element of this grant proposal will utilize a process map established by Garfield County Public Health to carry out a two-phased public education and involvement campaign to develop community capacity to harness ideas and energy for the Garfield County community to produce effective outcomes that will enhance public health and the environment.

Prospective CARE partners: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Garfield County Energy Advisory Board(EAB), the Garfield County Human Services Commission, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, the Saccomanno Research Institute of St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction CO., Energy Industry Leaders, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Mountain News Media, the Chamber of Commerce, Local Governments, and various community leadership organizations including Rotary, Kiwanis. 

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Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
Bridgeport, Connecticut
EPA Region 1

The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ) is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. Founded in 1998, CCEJ  is a nonprofit organization that has established regional Environmental Justice Networks in Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The target community for the CARE grant is Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut. Bridgeport is six times denser than Fairfield County as a whole, and has an average income about half of the county’s average. The poverty rate is 18.4 percent, more than double the overall Connecticut rate of 7.9 percent.  EPA has designated Bridgeport as an Environmental Justice Area of Concern. CCEJ has identified 28 environmental health hazards in Bridgeport, such as diesel pollution from I-95; antiquated zoning laws allowing heavy industrial uses of land adjacent to residential areas; asbestos problems, and water pollution in Bridgeport Harbor. With air pollution from New York City, a high rate of asthma rate is also a concern.

The main goals of CCEJ and its local affiliate the Fairfield County Environmental Justice Network (FCEJN) for the Bridgeport CARE project is to:

  • Increase general understanding about the multiple environmental sources of risk to Bridgeport residents’ health;
  • Set priorities for the reduction of specific pollutants and environmental toxins; and
  • Implement strategies in partnership with municipal and state agencies.

Prospective CARE Partners: FCEJN; Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH); City of Bridgeport Department of Health and Social Services; Bridgeport Asthma Council; East End Community Council, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition; Women’s Caucus of the Bridgeport City Council; Connecticut State Senator Bill Finch, Bridgeport Business Council; State Representative Chris Caruso; State Representative Charles Clemens; Bridgeport Mayor’s Office; League of Conservation Voters; Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD); Trash Busters of Bridgeport, Inc.; Optimus Health Care/Bridgeport Community Health Centers; Measure for Measure; East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone; Mount Airy Baptist Church; Unity Council; Bridgeport Diocese; Gerald Moore, also Black Small Business Association; Bishop Kenneth Moales, Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc.; and Gary Haman, Bridgeport Board of Education.

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Albany Tools for Change
Albany, Georgia
EPA Region 4

Tools for Change, in Albany, Ga., is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. Founded in 2003 as a part of a four-city collaborative effort to battle health disparities in Georgia, TFC-Albany began by convening a series of small community meetings with residents, researchers, and health providers who were members of, or worked with Albanys under-served community.

The area supported by the CARE grant centers around the Alice Coachman Elementary school, located within an industrial corridor and surrounded by residential communities. The residential areas near Alice Coachman Elementary are economically disadvantaged. Of the students that attend Alice Coachman Elementary, 91 percent are economically disadvantaged. TFC-Albany has identified many potential environmental concerns in the community, including the existence of two petroleum storage tank farms, a diesel hauling company, and former industrial waste sites, all located in the vicinity of Alice Coachman Elementary school.

TFC-Albany will use the CARE grant to facilitate cooperation between all stakeholders in the local community to identify potential sources of environmental exposures and establish priorities for risk reduction. Activities will include a thorough examination of previously documented environmental toxic exposures, as well as suspected toxic sources, and community education about health effects from pollution on children and long-term residents.

Prospective CARE Partners:  Dougherty County School Board; City of Albany Central Services; City Commission; and One Stop Food Mart.

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City of Gary
Gary, Indiana
EPA Region 5

The Gary Project, located within Gary, Indiana’s Department of Environmental Affairs, is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. The mission of the department is to achieve and maintain a clean and healthy environment for Gary’s citizens.   

Located on the southern-most shores of Lake Michigan, Gary is the 5th largest city in Indiana and the largest city in Lake County with a population of approximately 98,715.  Gary’s population is 84 percent African American with more than 45 percent of children living below poverty levels.  More than 80 percent of Gary children under the age of 18 live in high-risk poverty neighborhoods.  Historic and ongoing pollution ranks Gary among U.S. cities with high toxic releases and associated health risks.  Environmental concerns include contaminated lands, abandoned industrial buildings and houses, as well as older housing with asbestos and lead paint. The city also suffers from indoor and outdoor mobile and stationary source air pollution, including diesel emissions and traffic from major interstate highways, and toxics in sediments.

The Gary Project will use the CARE grant to work through the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH) process.  PACE EH is an assessment tool utilized by communities to identify and assess environmental health issues and concerns.   The project will use PACE EH tools to build a collaborative local partnership focused on developing a community-based plan for improving the environment and public health in the city.  Along with the commitment from state and local representatives, community members and business leaders the project will work over a two-year period with qualified technical and facilitation consultants to compile, review and prioritize Gary’s cumulative environmental and toxic risks in relation to public health impacts. 

Prospective CARE Partners:   U.S. Steel Gary Works; Weed and Seed Organization; Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM); City of Gary Health and Human Services; Gary Community Health Center; Groundwork Gary, Inc.; Indiana University Northwest; Indiana Toxics Action Project; United Water Services. Gary 1st Foundation; Race Relations Council; Froebel Community Council; Central District Organization; Save the Dune Conservation Fund; Youth Leaders In Action; Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc; and Maternal Child Health Network of Lake County.

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Migrant Whole Health Outreach, Inc 
Kennett, Missouri
EPA Region 7

Migrant Whole Health Outreach (MWHO) is the recipient of a CARE Level I Cooperative Agreement.  MWHO is an inter-faith organization dedicated to the unmet needs of the migrant families in the Bootheel (Dunking and Perniscot Counties) of Missouri and surrounding border areas of Arkansas.   The goals of the MWHO are to promote healthy families seeing quality of life, utilizing self-directed healthy psychological-social behaviors, living and sharing in one united healthy community.

The John Deere community is a small subdivision located just outside of the City of Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri.  The community is comprised of 61 occupied, 7 unoccupied and several burned out or vandalized trailer homes.  The county median household income is $24,878, while the average income of the minorities in this subdivision is $9600- $14400 per year. 

MWHO, partnering with the Midwest Assistance Program, Inc. (MAP), will conduct a risk assessment of the entire John Deere area to ascertain the environmental hazards that exist. While some environmental and health issues are very blatant, others may exist that not so evident.  By working together to determine all the risks that present, MWHO, MAP, the University of Missouri, EPA and other organizations will develop a plan of action to address the environmental and health issues that have plagued this impoverished community.  This type of collaborative effort could be replicated across the regions as a model for other low-income minority communities.  MWHO with MAP will continue to conduct monthly community meetings with the residents of the subdivision.  Information will be provided to them to help them make informed decisions on the direction for their community.  MWHO believes it is critical for the community to have a voice in determining priorities and identifying the best solutions for a healthier community.

Established CARE Partnerships:  Midwest Assistance Program, Water Resources Research Center, Kennett Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Independence Township Board, Dunklin County Health Department, Dunklin County Commission, and the Dunklin County Caring Council, Inc.

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Public Health Solutions
District Health Department
Crete, Nebraska
EPA Region 7

Part of Nebraska’s public health system, a district public health department named Public Health Solutions (PHS) is the recipient of a CARE Level I grant. Serving residents of the rural counties of Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, and Thayer, the department will conduct an environmental health assessment and prepare an action plan using the “Baseline Assessment System to Improve the Status (BASIS) of Community Environmental Health Project.” BASIS is a community-driven environmental health assessment process. The project will identify and prioritize environmental health problems in the five-county district and construct a plan for addressing them. 

PHS was established in 2002 to provide local public health assistance, assess community health status, and provide leadership on health-related policy development for 57,000 residents living in five contiguous rural counties in southeast Nebraska.  As mandated by the state of Nebraska, PHS District Health Department is governed by a board of health that includes a commissioner/supervisor from each of the five counties to ensure that the entire community is equally represented in public health decisions. 

PHS will spearhead BASIS, an environmental health assessment process modeled after the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH), a methodology popularly utilized by CARE grantees, to establish a baseline for community environmental health status and increase local capacity for monitoring and mitigating critical environmental health issues.  As part of this process, an assessment team will identify locally appropriate environmental health indicators -- such as ability to fish in local water bodies -- assess the indicator’s status, prioritize them for risk and impact, and construct a sustainable plan to address them. Examples of the community’s environmental concerns are illegal-dumping and open-pit trash-burning; water quality; air emissions and other toxics from the agricultural businesses; and soil erosion and pollutant emissions related to new ethanol plants in district.

A Selection of Prospective CARE Partners:  Public Health Solutions; Jefferson County Commissioner, Trailblazers Resource Conservation and Development; and the Fillmore County Development Corp.

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Town of Fort Edward
Fort Edward, New York
EPA Region 2

The Town of Fort Edward, New York, is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. The Town created and operates a community participation group, the Fort Edward Citizen’s Advisory Committee (FECAC).  This organization is designed to provide residents with a self-directed outlet to ensure that community needs are adequately represented through its interactions with EPA as they relate to the Hudson River Superfund project. To implement the CARE project, a subcommittee of the FECAC will be formed and its membership will be expanded to include previously uninvolved residents, businesses and institutions.  This subcommittee will also direct its focus towards other environmental issues impacting the Town outside of the Hudson River dredging project. 

Fort Edward can be described as a former industrial stronghold with a shrinking manufacturing sector surrounded by agricultural lands and working farms. The western boundary of Fort Edward is the Hudson River, a feature that attracted a great deal of industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these industries contributed to pollution both in and out of the river. Separate from the dredging project, the other environmental concerns in the community include: contaminated ground water emanating from three municipal landfills and other sources; impacts on ground and surface water from animal waste and agricultural use of pesticides, and the creation of new environmental problems as a result of planned transportation projects in the area.

The primary goals of Fort Edward’s CARE project are to strengthen the community collaborative process, identify the existing and potential sources of toxics in the community, educate the community on environmental risks, and involve the community in setting priorities for risk-reduction activities.

Prospective CARE Partners:  Fort Edward Citizens Advisory Group; Hudson River PCB Cleanup Advisory Group; Washington County Agricultural, Planning, Tourism, and Community Development Committee; Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES); Adirondack Community College; Fort Edward Local Development Corp.; Washington County Local Development Corp.; Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce; Rogers Island Heritage Development Alliance (RIHDA); Greater Adirondack Resource Conservation & Development Council; Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District; Washington County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board; Cornell University Cooperative Extension Washington County; Brownfield Redevelopment Solutions, Inc.; New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT); State University of New York at Albany (SUNY); and The Village of Fort Edward.

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West Harlem Environmental Action

Final Report (PDF) (24pp, 94k)

West Harlem Environmental Action
New York, New York
EPA Region 2

West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., known as WE ACT, is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. WE ACT is a non-profit, community based environmental justice organization that has been collaborating with environmental health scientists, community activists, and healthcare providers to assess and intervene to reduce environmental health risks in Northern Manhattan for 19 years. WE ACT’s major accomplishments include: the development of an environmental training program for 300 community residents; the development of 20 GIS maps showing environmental exposures, demographics, and health burdens in Northern Manhattan, New York City, and the Northeastern United States; and the hosting of a national conference on “Human Genetics, Environment and Communities of Color,” which was sponsored in part by EPA.

Target communities for WE ACT’s Northern Manhattan CARE Collaborative are East Harlem, Central Harlem, West Harlem, and Washington Heights. These communities have a combined population of over 600,000 people in an area of only 7.4 square miles. About 88 percent of residents identify themselves as either African American or Latino, and the median annual income ranged from $14,896 to $29,479 in 1999. Northern Manhattan is plagued by severe environmental problems of all types including air pollution from highways on its borders; an Amtrak line; five bus depots; and heavy neighborhood truck traffic.  Northern Manhattan is also home to many industrial and waste-related land uses and two sewage treatment plants. The housing stock is old and dilapidated. All of these environmental hazards have had significant health impacts, most notably pediatric asthma and lead poisoning.

WE ACT will use the CARE grant to establish a steering committee made of key leaders representing all stakeholders in the local community. This CARE Collaborative will work to identify potential sources of environmental exposures and establish priorities for risk reduction. It will also work to identify community assets in order to build on existing strengths in the community.

A Selection of Prospective CARE Partners:  American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey; Broadway Housing Communities, Inc.; Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health; multiple departments at Columbia University; The Urban Design Lab, The Earth Institute; James F Gannaro, New York City Council Member; Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement; several departments from the City of New York, including The Mayor’s Office; Natural Resources Defense Council; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Public Health Association of New York; Chairman of Mount Sinai Department of Community & Preventive Medicine; Waste Management of New York, LLC; and West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.

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Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
EPA Region 1

The Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center (NRIAHEC), a program of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. Day- to-day operations of the CARE program will be conducted through the East Bay Community Action Plan, with oversight conducted by the NRIAHEC.

The target community for the CARE grant is the city of Newport, RI. Environmental risks in the community include: lead poisoning (the percentage of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood exceeds the state average); moisture/mold exposure in homes that can trigger asthma; diesel emissions and particulate matter from buses and trucks; and poor water quality affecting beaches and the watershed.  The high instance of poverty in Newport exacerbates the situation – Newport children living below the poverty line have a 50 percent greater risk of cancer from exposure to hazardous air pollutants, a 50 percent greater risk of living near a Superfund site, and are 200 percent more likely to live near a facility emitting criteria air pollutants, as compared to children above the poverty line.  

The CARE project will convene the “Building a Healthy Newport Environment Coalition” to identify health risks in Newport. The key outputs of the CARE project will be: 1) formulation of a sustainable coalition with broad-based representation; 2) documentation of perceived environmental and health risks and community concerns; 3) characterization of environmental and health risks using available data in an accessible format; 4) an action plan prioritizing key risks and resources to address these problems; and 5) commitments from local organizations to tackle high priority risks.

Prospective CARE Partnership: Hasbro Children’s Hospital; the Housing Authority of the city of Newport; Rhode Island Department of Health; Balance for Life, LLC; Tohn Environmental Strategies, LLC; Newport Department of Planning, Zoning, Development & Inspections; Newport Public Schools; Newport Hospital; Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties; Aquidneck Island Planning Commission; City of Newport Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; District Water Department; June Gibbs, State Senator, Newport County.

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Northwest Communities Education Center 
Granger, Washington
EPA Region 10

The Northwest Communities Education Center (NCEC), Yakima County, Wash., is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. Founded in 1975, NCEC is a nonprofit community-based organization that promotes social reform by providing health information, educational advancement, economic development, and environmental justice to over 10,000 consumers each year. NCEC has collaborated with community members and community-based organizations on environmental education and occupational safety concerns.  El Proyecto Bienester (The Well-Being Project) will explore many issues facing the rural Yakima Valley community including: hazardous waste disposal, pesticide exposure; livestock pathogens; air pollutants, including backyard trash burning; composting; wood-burning stoves; and private groundwater well testing and treatment.

Established and Prospective CARE Partners: NCEC/Radio KDNA; Heritage University; Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH), which is a National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health-funded Agricultural Disease Injury Research, Education, and Prevention Center; and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (a community/migrant health center) comprise the project core.  Other partners include: Central Washington Occupational Medicine; Washington State Department of Agriculture; and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.  Additional partners will be recruited from agricultural, business, faith, and tribal organizations.

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The Lands Council  

Final Report (PDF) (15pp, 97k)

The Lands Council  
A Partnership with Promise:  Using A Collaborative, Community-Based Approach in Spokane County to Reduce Exposure to Toxics
Spokane, Washington
EPA Region 10

The Lands Council is the recipient of a Care Level I cooperative agreement.  Incorporated in 1989, the Lands Council preserves and revitalizes Inland Northwest forests, water, and wildlife through advocacy, education, effective action, and community engagement.  Spokane County with a population of over 425,000 contains two of the largest cities in Washington State, Spokane and Spokane Valley, as well as many small towns within a rural setting.  The people of Spokane Count are 89% white, 3.3% Hispanic or Latino, 3% Asian, 2.5% African American, and 3% Native American. 

The purpose of this project is to create a collaborative effort in Spokane County that will result in informing and involving the community to understand and find solutions to toxic risks that are impacting the health of area residents.  With their partners, they will implement the PACE-EH methodology to develop the collaborative team, identify environmental health concerns, prioritize these concerns, create an action plan, and begin implementation of health risk reduction in the community.  Although some work has been done in the last 5-10 years to investigate sources of toxic pollutants in the Spokane area and some clean up has began, there is a great opportunity and need to gather additional data on public health concerns and environmental pollution.  Most needed is a comprehensive approach to understanding the problems, (public education, awareness, and information sharing) and prioritizing the most pressing toxic threats to the community.  Specifically, the community needs to understand which populations within Spokane County are most at-risk of multiple exposures to toxics in the water, air and land, as well as indoor pollution, and work to protect the community through research, collaboration, education, and action.

Established CARE Partnerships:  State of Washington Department of Ecology, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and the Spokane Regional Health District.

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Wheeling Jesuit University, Inc.
Wheeling, West Virginia
EPA Region 3

The Biology Department of the Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement.  Wheeling Jesuit University, founded in 1954, is one of America’s 28 Jesuit institutions of higher learning.  The CARE project will focus on the Appalachian community of Tug Fork, and will provide assistance and expertise to identify environmental problems, gather and provide quality information, and transfer that information into community knowledge in a manner that will allow for prioritization of the community’s most pressing environmental needs.  The project will extend established relationships and engage the larger Tug Fork community.  Health problems in this community include high incidences of Alzheimer’s disease, blood problems, cancer not related to smoking, attention deficit disorder, kidney stones and kidney failure, arsenic poisoning, dementia, birth defects, thyroid problems and gastrointestinal problems.  Project goals include building a collaborative partnership to identify pollution sources; providing a bridge that facilitates information-sharing between the community members and pollution source investigators; and creating an inclusive consensus-based process to set pollution priorities. 

Prospective CARE Partners:  Appalachian Coalition for Just and Sustainable Communities; U.S. Department of Interior; State of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; West Virginia Environmental Council; West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection; The Forgotten Communities of Lick Creek Organization; and Supporting Appalachian’s Vital Environment (SAVE).

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Level II

Pacoima Beautiful   
Pacoima, California
EPA Region 9

Pacoima Beautiful (PB) is a bilingual, multi-cultural, resident-driven organization located in northeast San Fernando Valley in the city of Los Angeles. The group is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement, building off of a Level I CARE award from 2005.  The mission of Pacoima Beautiful is to empower the Pacoima community through programs that provide environmental education, advocacy and local leadership in order to foster a healthy and safe environment for its residents.  Pacoima is a low-income, working class community of 101,000 where 83 percent of the population is Latino and 8 percent are African American. Approximately 34 percent of the population has less than a 9th grade education. 

This project will address two previously identified priority concerns: small stationary (point) sources in a specific targeted area and diesel emissions from trucks and school buses throughout the community.  This project will: 1) educate and mobilize local residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce toxic risk; 2) broaden the partnership base to include more residents and businesses, community and government partners, technical experts and regulatory agencies to identify and implement risk reduction strategies; and 3) develop indicators to track progress, measure results, and communicate lessons learned to the Pacoima community, as well as other communities facing similar circumstances.

Established CARE Partnership: Arnold and Porter, LLP; California State University; Andrea M. Hricko, MPH; California Environmental Rights Alliance; National Center for Child Traumatic Stress; LA Neighborhood Legal Services; LA County Public Health; Valley Economic Development Center;  Pacoima Credit Union; Initiation Change in Our Neighborhoods; Northeast Valley Health Corp.; Luna’s Radiators and Mufflers, Inc.; Valley Care Community Consortium; Pacoima Charter School; Pacoima Neighborhood Council; California Air Resources Board; Department of Toxic Substances Control; California Regional Water Quality Control Board; South Coast Air Quality Management District; Congressman Howard L. Berman; Senator Alex Padilla; LA County Board of Supervisors; Councilmember Richard Alarcon, Councilmember Tony Cardenas.

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West Michigan Environmental Action Education Foundation
Grand Rapids, Michigan
EPA Region 5

The West Michigan Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement.  Organized in July 2006, the CEHI is a collaborative body of nonprofit, community-based, and governmental organizations. The CEHI is leading a collaborative campaign to improve children’s environmental health and represents Kent County, located in west-center Michigan in Grand Rapids, roughly 30 miles east of Lake Michigan.  Grand Rapids population is 197,800 of which over a third are minorities.  While the project will serve households throughout Kent County, it will deliver focused educational and preventative services to households in Grand Rapids’ economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.  The project intends to provide an educational campaign about indoor and outdoor environmental risk factors that affect the health and the quality of life for children and families.  The project will also provide affordable strategies to reduce unnecessary exposure to indoor and outdoor environmental toxics.

Established CARE Partnership:  West Michigan Environmental Action Council; Kent County Health Department; Asthma Network of West Michigan; the Sustainable Research Group; Our Kitchen Table; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Michigan Family Resources, Inc.; Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan; Michigan Department of Community Health; Metro Health Hospital; and the City of Grand Rapids.

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Bernalillo County
Office of Environmental Health
Albuquerque, New Mexico
EPA Region 6

The Bernalillo County Office of Environmental Health (BCEH), New Mexico, is a recipient of the Level II CARE cooperative agreement. BCEH works with the community to preserve and protect a quality environment that assures optimum public health and safety. BCEH will use the CARE grant to help the South Valley neighborhood reduce health risks attributed to benzene and heavy metal exposures by conducting an environmental assessment of gasoline stations and auto dismantlers, and by and suggesting operating strategies to reduce contamination and exposures. South Valley is a predominately minority (78 percent Latino), under served community with relatively large amounts of heavy industry compared to other neighborhoods in Bernalillo County.  Business operators and community members will review proposed pollution reduction strategies, include policy development, and assess willingness of the collaborative to work together to reduce on-site contamination and environmental exposures.

Established CARE Partnership:  New Mexico Environment Department; South Valley Partners for Environmental Justice; Place Matters; The University of New Mexico; Community Environmental Health Program; Rio Grande Community Development Corp.; and Mountain View Neighborhood Association.

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Charleston County Area, SC
Project Impact Environmental Education Program
Charleston, South Carolina
EPA Region 4

The Charleston County Area Project Impact is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement. The project will start January 2008 and will run through December 2009 under the direction of the Charleston County Building Services Department, in Charleston, S.C.

The Charleston County Area Project Impact partnership was initially formed to make the Charleston community more disaster resistant. The partnership has 172 members including all of the municipalities within Charleston County, as well as private, public, and nonprofit sector organizations. Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties comprise the project area.

The purpose of this project is to increase awareness within the Charleston County Area of air and water pollution sources and assist citizens in taking action to reduce pollution. The project will complement existing efforts including zone early action compact; non-point source pollution permit-related programs; green space acquisition; mass transit programs, and risk assessment of toxics.

Previously, the Charleston Region Toxics Risk Assessment identified particulates as a priority air hazard for the Charleston County Area. It was acknowledged that ground-level ozone was a companion pollutant to particulates from some area sources. Projects under the grant will include encouraging the retrofitting of diesel vehicles with air pollution controls, and promoting fuel savings and the use of low-emission fuels.

Environmental education is also a focus of the project. CARE partners will educate the public on hazards of open burning, as well as other priority air issues, and on water pollution and conservation. These efforts will be focused on the general public, as well as specific audiences, e.g., homeowners, truck drivers, contractors and developers, lawn care service providers, young students, teachers, boaters, etc.

Established CARE Partnership:  South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; College of Charleston; The Citadel; the Surfriders Foundation, Charleston Chapter; 113 Calhoun Street Foundation; South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and others.

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City of Laredo Health Department 
Laredo, Texas
EPA Region 6

The City of Laredo Health Department (CLHD) is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement.  The CLHD’s mission is to provide a better quality of life by promoting a healthy and safer environment through community involvement, health education, disease prevention, and risk reduction.  Laredo is a Texas-Mexico border city with more than 225,000 residents, 97 percent of the population is Latino, primarily Mexican American, and over 50 percent are under-insured or uninsured.  Laredo is the largest inland port of entry with over 40 percent of the nation’s product and goods passing through its four international bridges between Mexico and the United States.  Various steps to safeguard the environment, initiate pollution risk reduction, develop hazardous materials management and ensure environmental and health risks prevention have been taken.

Under the CARE grant, CLHD proposes to conduct a stakeholder-based citywide intervention that will provide community-wide environmental and health prevention and education to address the environmental priorities.  A few environmental health issues of concern are high levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic in blood, untreated waste water, air pollution from border- and port-related commercial activities, and illegal dumping.

Established CARE Partnership:  Keep Laredo Beautiful; Several Bi-national Border 2012 Task Force groups; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; Secretaria De Salud; Jurisdiccion #5; Nuevo Laredo; Tamiaulipas Mexico; Ecologia, Cila, Universidad Autonoma De Tamaulipas School of Nursing, Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene Program.

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The Elizabeth River Project
Portsmouth, Virginia
EPA Region 3

The Elizabeth River Project is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement. It is a community-based nonprofit established in 1991. Its mission is to restore the environmental quality of the Elizabeth River, described as one of the most toxic tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

The CARE cooperative agreement builds on the results of a Comparative Risk Assessment conducted with the EPA from 1993-1996.  The Comparative Risk Program allowed the Elizabeth River Project to achieve consensus among scientists, regulators, industries, and community groups on a plan to restore the Elizabeth River. Elizabeth River and Restoration, A Watershed Action Plan, lists four major objectives: remediation of contaminated sediments, restoration of wetlands/riparian forests/vegetated buffers, continuation of the “River Stars” program to enlist industrial partners, as well as innovative community education and outreach. 

The Elizabeth River Project will use CARE funding to restore 19 acres of impacted sediments off-shore of Money Point, a section of the South Norfolk-Port Lock neighborhood. The Elizabeth River Project will develop an innovative design to remove sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic compounds.  This innovative design will enhance habitat values in a 6.3 acre shallow area through construction of a first-of-its-kind “living cap” of wetlands and an oyster reef.

Established CARE Partnership: The Living River Restoration Trust; South Norfolk Civic League; Congressional Representative J. Randy Forbes; Virginia Port Authority; Kinder Morgan Elizabeth River Terminals, LLC; Lafarge; BAE Systems, Earl Industries, LLC; Truxton Development, LLC.

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International District Housing Alliance
Reducing Neighborhood Toxics Project
Seattle, Washington
EPA Region 10

The International District Housing Alliance (IDHA) is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement. The mission of IDHA is to improve the quality of life of Asian and Pacific Islanders of greater Seattle by providing services related to community-building and low-income housing.  This project will focus on the International District community, with over 40 different ethnic groups living in one of Seattle’s oldest and most ethnically diverse neighborhoods.  The project is a continuation of work started under the Level I CARE grant to educate the community about toxics issues, expand the partnership to sustain ongoing efforts, and work on specific projects. 

IDHA has monitored the state of the local environment (using computerized neighborhood tracking devices) and conducted multilingual surveys and community meetings to determine neighborhood priorities.  In partnership with various stakeholders and partners, the Level I CARE project identified potential solutions for mitigating toxics and waste, air quality and water quality concerns.  These strategies will be implemented in the Level II CARE project.  In the next two years, the Level II partnership intends to support the work of the Community Action Partnership, the Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area, and the Vietnamese Area Economic Development Association through subcontracts to each organization for project implementation.  Some of the projects will consist of outreach on waste reduction, anti-idling, green business and working on a "Green Streets" campaign and a dumpster free/community-cleanup/recycling campaign.

Established CARE Partnership:  King County Solid Waste Division; Seattle Aquarium; Seattle City Light; Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation; Seattle Department of Transportation; Seattle/King County Public Health; USDA Forest Service, Washington state departments of  Ecology Fish & Wildlife Health, and  Transportation; Cascadia Consulting; North Cascades Institute; Olympic Park Institute; Salish Seas; University of Washington; American Lung Association; Chinatown-ID Business Improvement Area; Community Coalition for Environmental Justice; Environmental Coalition of South Seattle; Inter*Im Community Development Association; International Community Health Services; Neighborhood House; Puget Sound Clean Air Agency; Seattle Chinatown-ID Preservation and Development Authority, and Sustainable Seattle.

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