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Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE)

Community Profiles 2011

Level I

Level II

Level I Funding

Worcester Healthy Homes and Neighborhoods Initiative
Worcester, Massachusetts
EPA Region 1

Worcester Healthy Homes and Neighborhoods Initiative is a recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. Healthy Homes and Neighborhoods (HHN) will be convened by the Regional Environmental Council, Inc. (REC), whose mission is to build healthy, sustainable and just communities in the City of Worcester, MA. The Worcester Healthy Homes and Neighborhoods Initiative will focus on the 5 lowest-income, highest-risk neighborhoods in the city of Worcester: Main South, Piedmont, Bell Hill, Oak Hill and Quinsigamond Village. These neighborhoods correspond with the city’s federally designated neighborhood revitalization strategy areas (NRSA). These vulnerable neighborhoods have a long history of air, water, and land pollution. Interviews with residents and CBOs indicate that community members daily confront built environment, economic and household conditions associated with a range of negative health outcomes, disorders and learning disabilities. Worcester was #1 (worst) in total point ranking for cities in Massachusetts in a recent environmental justice assessment of the state (Faber and Krieg 2005), which analyzed the extent to which communities were overburdened through exposure to landfills, hazardous waste sites, trash transfer stations, incinerators, polluting industry, power plants, and cumulative environmental hazards.

REC and its partners are committed to working together to expand and strengthen the existing Worcester Lead Action Collaborative (WLAC) beyond its current 30 partner organizations to ensure their efforts are both inclusive and sustainable. Following the Roadmap, REC and HHN will identify environmental, health, and socio-economic community concerns (including those for immediate action), along with community vulnerabilities and assets. Following the collection and Assessment of information through the Community Dialogue Sessions and other tasks, HHN will assemble all data collected into a matrix for use during the prioritization process. Lastly, HHN seek to embody the CARE “bias for action” throughout the process by taking risk-reduction actions on key concerns as soon as possible.

Prospective CARE Partners: Nu-look Refinishing, Worcester Property Owners Association, Worcester Roots Project, Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Community Action Council, Inc., NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center, Lutheran Social Services of New England, Fairbridge Project International, Clark University, Legal Assistance Corp. Christian Community Church, Catholic Charities, City of Worcester Office of Human Rights, City of Worcester Division of Neighborhoods and Housing, City of Worcester Inspectional Services (Division of Housing and Health Inspections), City of Worcester Dept. of Public Health, and Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

Tonawanda CARE Partnership
Buffalo, New York
Region 2

Tonawanda CARE Partnership is a recipient of Level I CARE cooperative agreement. Clean Air Council will be the lead organization for this project. The Clean Air Council protects the rights of Western New York residents to breathe clean air and to live, work and play in a health environment. Tonawanda includes the Town and City of Tonawanda, encompassing 3 zip codes (14150, 14217, and 14223). Tonawanda’s zone has the highest concentration of air-regulated facilities on the state. Within a two-mile area, the town has 53 facilities, including a foundry coke plant, tow petroleum distribution terminals, multiple bulk storage terminals, a coal-burning electric generation facility, and a tire manufacturing plant. The purpose of the Tonawanda CARE Partnership is to educate and build consensus about a prioritized list of risks and concerns that the community wants to address. Through this CARE cooperative agreement the Clean Air Coalition will convene and facilitate meetings with community stakeholder groups and engage resident experts to collaboratively compile a list of local environmental hazards, including air pollution and land contamination from the industrial area, nuclear waste in the town landfill, housing issues, climate change, and others. The Coalition will then share the complied information with stakeholders and facilitate a prioritization process.

Prospective CARE Partners: University of Buffalo, Congress of the United States, Town of Tonawanda, Kenmore Alliance Church, First Trinity Lutheran Church, Kenmore Baptist Church, Temple Beth El & Buffalo First.

Community-Based Participatory Research Approach to Understanding & Reducing Risks
Newport News, Virginia
Region 3

The Community-Based Participatory Research Approach to Understanding & Reducing Risks project is a recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. This project will be convened by The Greater Southeast Development Corporation (GSDC), a community-based neighborhood development corporation. The Southeast Community of Newport News, VA has a high probability of suffering greater impacts from environmental degradation than other populations. This community is approximately 22 miles long, 4 miles wide, and generally defined by zip codes 23605 and 23607. Environmental pollution in this community correlates with commercial port operations, the creation and use of Interstate 664, and the various industrial Facilities operating therein. Out of 16 known industrial facilities currently operating in the city of Newport News, 7 of them are located within the Southeast Community. Environmental and public health issues of concern are hazardous air pollutants, smog and particulates, diesel emissions, chronic diseases and toxic chemical releases. At the heart of this project is the intent to fulfill an informational void regarding community specific impacts of toxic pollutant exposure on the environment and the health of the residents. GSDC will use a community-based participatory research approach to generate scientifically sound, socially relevant, and community specific environmental information for residents of the southeast community. GSDC aims to create an effective, resident lead, partnership that specifically addresses environmental health concerns of residents, collect and disseminate, community specific information on industrial pollutants, environmental risks due to exposure to such pollutants, create a sustainable mechanism whereby residents of the Southeast Community of Newport News will continue mobilizing action regarding prioritized pollutants of concern, improving their environment, and reducing their environmental risks.

Prospective CARE Partners: The Moton Community House, All from One Inc., Old Dominion University, Old Dominion University Research Foundation.

Mississippi CARES
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Region 4

The Mississippi CARES project is the recipient of a Level I CARE cooperative agreement. The organization leading this project is the Caffee, Caffee and Associates Public Health Foundation (CCA). CCA is a nonprofit organization that addresses public health, cultural, social, and environmental justice issues in disparate populations and communities. The community of focus is the Mobile-Bouie Neighborhood in East Hattiesburg, MS. This collaborative will bring together persons affected by the city’s worst areas of suspected environmental contamination. The highest concerns are the quality of air, soil, and water contamination, stemming from corporations such as the Hercules Powder Company located in the heart of the community. The Mobile-Bouie Neighborhood Association identified the following environmental issues as high priority to the health and well being of its residents: 1) Soil contamination more heavily due to contaminant toxic dumping on industrial site grounds, 2) Air pollution from factories, 3) Water contamination due to dumping of hazardous industrial wastes into the Leaf River, and 4) Pollution associated the disposal of pine Belt Oil tanks. CCA will begin this project by formalizing, strengthening and educating our community partnership. Education will be a major priority as we ensure that our partners fully understand the various local environmental risks. CCA will also provide information, tools, and technical assistance to help communities gain an understanding of the major potential sources of exposure to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns and work with the community partnership to set priorities for risk reduction activities.

Prospective CARE Partners: Mobile-Bouie neighborhood Association, The University of Southern Mississippi, Illusion Hair Salon, City Councilwomen for the city of Hattiesburg, Speedy Masonry, Nicholson Temple C.O.G.I.C., ForrestGeneral Hospital, Mason’s Pest Control, & Forrest County Board of Supervisors.

Environmental Equity Matters in Chicago’s Greater Roseland Community Area
Chicago, Illinois
Region 5

The Environmental Equity Matters in Chicago’s Greater Roseland Community Area project is a recipient of a CARE Level I cooperative agreement. The Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement is a research and technical assistance unit in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago and will be representing this project. The center responds to community needs and works in collaboration with them to ensure that the work product is useful and that communities are empowered to act alongside governmental units, upon agreed action plans. This project will serve the Greater Roseland area that consists primarily of four Chicago community areas: Roseland, Riverdale, Pullman and West Pullman. There are nearly 32,000 households residing in the area while the median income is about half that of the region (36,700). The Greater Roseland community has multiple problems: poor air quality conditions and toxic pollutants, high rates of cancer and other diseases linked to the environment, lead poisoning risks in homes and soil, poverty and high rates of unemployment and limited options of healthy food, quality education and health care. Riverdale, one of the four communities, is ranked the poorest and most underserved and geographically isolated community areas in Chicago. Through this CARE cooperative agreement the Voorhees center with partners will utilize the CARE Roadmap to help guide the partnership building process, utilize EPA CARE Resource Guide to assist in indentifying data sources and produce environmental fact sheets for the myriad of environmental stresses known in the community. Voorhees will also work together with the community, and Developing Communities Project, Inc. (DCP) to develop a sound, shared and agreed upon criteria for assessing and coming to agreement on what environmental issues the community should address and prioritize these issues for action.

Prospective CARE Partners: U.S. Department of labor, Keeping Greater Roseland Alive, Citizen Action Illinois, Victory Heights Community Organization, Golden Gate Community Association, & Altgeld Riverdale Community Partnership.

Istrouma Health Partnership (IHP)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Region 6

Istrouma Health Partnership (IHP) is a recipient of the CARE Level I cooperative agreement. The project will be convened by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The Louisiana Bucket Brigade has been working with community groups throughout Louisiana to support grassroots action to create sustainable neighborhoods free from industrial pollution since 2000. The target community for the project is Istrouma in North Central Baton Rouge. Istrouma is located just north of the State Capitol and borders some of the biggest industrial polluters in the state. The Baton Rouge area is also home to the highest and lowest levels of human development in Louisiana. The extent of the environmental and health problems combined with the stressors of living in Istrouma, are dozens of chemical plants, alongside the second largest oil refinery in the country, several superfund sites, a large sewage treatment plant, numerous hazardous dump sites and a port surrounding the neighborhood. Through this CARE cooperative agreement IHP ‘s goal is to prevent chemical exposure among residents of Istrouma, undertake a cumulative assessment of all polluting facilities in Istrouma, broaden outreach to a wider variety of stakeholders in the community, and form a broad-based coalition to address the priorities that arise from accessing information on health risks from chemical exposure. IHP will also provide information, a variety of tools and technical assistance to help communities understand and assess all major potential sources of exposure to environmental pollutants. IHP will focus on action, mobilize local resources and utilize EPA voluntary programs to carry out risk reduction activities, and build effective, long-term, collaborative partnerships that include community organizations, residents, businesses, governments and other appropriate partners.

Prospective CARE Partners: Community Empowerment for Change, Office of the Metropolitan Council, Tony’s Seafood Market and Deli, Unity in Action, Advocate for Justice, Environmental Working Group, Environmental Integrity Project, Concerned Citizens of University Place Subdivision, Office of Public Health, Center for Environmental Health, University of North Carolina, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Duwamish Valley Healthy Communities Project
Seattle, Washington
Region 10

Duwamish Valley Healthy Communities Project (DVHCP) is the recipient of a CARE Level I cooperative agreement. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC/TAG) will be the lead for this project. DRCC/TAG was founded by ten community, environmental, tribal and small business organizations whose members are stakeholders in the cleanup of south Seattle’s Duwamish River. DRCC/TAG’s mission is to ensure a Duwamish River cleanup that is accepted by and benefits the community and protects fish, wildlife and human health. The community of focus is the Duwamish Valley, which encompasses a roughly 2-by-5 mile area that runs north-south along Seattle’s lower Duwamish River. The community includes some of the most ethnically diverse and lowest income neighborhoods in Seattle. The Duwamish Valley is burdened with exposure to multiple sources of environmental pollution, disproportional impacting its economically disadvantage and vulnerable resident populations. Some of the environmental hazards are soil contamination, outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution and poor water quality. Through this CARE level I cooperative agreement DVHCP will: (a) Convene residents, businesses, local governments and stakeholders to form a sustainable partnership committed to improving the local community’s health; (b) Comprehensively identify sources of environmental exposures and associated health risks and assets in the Duwamish Valley community and develop a community health profile; (c) Conduct a consensus-based prioritization of health risks and assets the community partnership will work to reduce or enhance; and (d) Develop collaborative strategies to reduce or eliminate the priority risks in order to improve the health of the entire Duwamish Valley community.

Prospective CARE Partners: Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, Clean Scapes, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, Georgetown Community Council, Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders, King County Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks, Worker Center of the MLK County Labor Council, Public Health Seattle and King County, Port of Seattle, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Sea Mar Community Health Center, South Park Area Redevelopment Committee, Seattle’s Public Utility Environmental Justice & Service Equity Division, University Of Washington School of Public Health, Washington State Department of Ecology and Development of health, Just Health Action and People for Puget Sound.


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Level II Funding

The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Region 5

The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment project is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement, building on a 2008 successful level I project. The Institute for Urban Health Partnerships (IUHP), a center of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) College of Nursing will be the organization leading this project. IUHP oversaw the successful implementation of and ongoing community support for the Level I CARE project known as the Westlawn Partnership. The target community for this project is the Westlawn Public Housing neighborhood in Milwaukee County, WI. Westlawn is the largest, low-income, public housing development in Wisconsin. The community includes Westlawn, and the surrounding neighborhood within the 53218 zip code. Community concerns identified by the Westlawn partnership during the level I process and which will be addressed through this level II funding include: a) indoor air pollution, b) mold exposure, c) access to safe and healthy food, d) pesticide exposure, e) outdoor air pollution f) plastics and BPA exposure, g) pharmaceutical waste (exposure through drinking water), h) lead exposure, and i) electronic waste. This Action Plan, developed by the Westlawn partnership during the level I funding period, will be implemented using a multimedia, holistic approach to reduce environmental risks in the community. Strong emphasis will be placed on environmental health, focusing on education and behavior change specific to children, families, and childcare providers.
Level II CARE funding will focus on these concerns by targeting three overarching goals: a) Long-term sustainability of the Westlawn Partnership: b) Healthy Homes: and c) Healthy Day Cares. These goals will be accomplished through the continuation of monthly partnership meetings, with members continuing to take leadership roles for specific pieces of the action plan.

Established CARE Partners: Westlawn Resident Council, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, University of Milwaukee, City of Milwaukee Health Department, Fight Asthma Milwaukee (FAM) Allies, State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukees Asian Markets Phongsavan, Growing Power, Inc., and Jammin 98.3.

Environmental Sustainability for the Salina Community
Salina, Kansas
Region 7

The Environmental Sustainability for the Salina Community project is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement, building on a 2008 successful level I project. The City of Salina, Kansas is the organization leading this project. The City of Salina is a municipal unit of local government. Its mission is to be a leader among Kansas cities by leveraging partnerships and economic opportunity to ensure a safe, progressive and healthy community that respects its natural resources, offers excellent municipal services and provides a high quality of life for its citizens. The community of focus for this project is the City of Salina with a population of 47, 707 according to the 2010 census. Groundwater contaminant plumes have been identified in the southwest part of Salina as well as the downtown area. After the CARE Level I process groundwater contamination, limited water supply, lead poisoning, storm water, household hazardous waste and radon all ranked the highest in environmental health concerns form the Salina community. The CARE Level II project will allow Salina to provide solutions to some of its environmental health concerns, as identified and prioritized by the CARE Level I process. Most of the funding will be for lead and radon reduction and addressing other healthy homes-types of pollution issues in areas of Salina that are underserved and economically disadvantaged. Other funding will go towards working with youth throughout the area and projects that will ultimately minimize urban runoff pollutants that enter storm drains and flow to the river channel that run through the city.

Established CARE Partners: Salina County Health Department, Kansas Department of health and Environment Radiation Control Program, Kansas Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Prevention Program, Kansas State University, Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute, Weis Fire & Safety Equipment Company, North Salina Community Development Group, The Volunteer Connection, and Mid-America Blinds.

Ka Wai Ola O Waiance- The Living Waters of Waiance
Kailua, Hawaii
Region 9

Representative Jordan talks with EPA and Ka Wai Ola O Waianae to discuss illegal dumping and non point source pollution along the Waianae Coast. Ka Wai Ola Waiance 2011 project exiting EPA

Ka Wai Ola O Waiance-The Living Waters of Waiance project is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement, building on a 2008 successful level I project. The Pacific American Foundation (PAF), a national nonprofit organization, will be the organization leading this project. PAF has emerged as one of the leaders in the Native Hawaiian community in developing culture and place-based educational curriculum (k-12), teacher professional development, mentoring and career planning. The district of Waianae is recognized as one of the six traditional districts on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Within the Waianae district there are nine ahupuaa, four of the most populated are; Nankuli, Lualualei, Waianae and Makaha. The work proposed under this CARE level II proposal focuses on caring for the land and water resources of these four ahupuaa, designated in this proposal as the Waianae Coast. The people living along the Waianae Coast face many environmental justice issues. The high percentage of minority and low-income populations along the Waianae Coast, along with the co-location of a power plant, an industrial park, Waimanalo Gulch solid waste landfill, a construction-debris landfill, and several military-use areas, epitomizes an environmental injustice area. Two community liaisons that have lived along the Waianae Coast their entire lives engaged their community to form the Ka Wai Ola O Waianae advisory committee through outreach to family, friends and local leaders. Through community-based consensus, the advisory committee decided to combine some of the environmental issues and prioritize for action as follows:

  1. Illegal dumping in and near streams
  2. Inactive and active landfills
  3. Non-point source pollution into streams and ocean

The Ka Wai Ola O Waianae level II project will engage the community to care for their environment, educate the community on how their actions impact their environment and how they can mitigate those impacts, execute activities in the community to reduce pollutants and evaluate for success in changing behaviors and preventing future pollution.

Established CARE Partners: State of Hawaii Department of Health, Schnitzer, Planning Solutions Incorporated, Leeward Kai Canoe Club, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, KAHEA-The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, and Kupu.

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