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Arizona: Community Assist of Southern Arizona and the Sonora Environmental Research Institute (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary and links below provide a description and documentation of a Tucson, Arizona project that received a Level II Cooperative Agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) project in 2005. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


Community Assist of Southern Arizona and the 
Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc 
Tucson, Arizona 
EPA Region 9

The Community Assist of Southern Arizona (CASA) and the Sonora Environmental Research Institute Inc., (SERI) are the recipients of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement. CASA and SERI partner with neighborhoods that are under economic, environmental, and disproportionate health stress. CASA supports a better understanding of environmental health risks and their reductions by the members of affected neighborhoods who are most familiar with the needs of their own neighborhoods. CASA/SERI implements these goals through a promotora (lay community health worker) program, where individuals from the affected neighborhoods are trained on environmental health issues and methods of conducting community outreach. The neighborhood communities engage in all aspects of developing an action plan to reduce toxics through the identification of the greatest potential pollutant producers by specific industrial sectors, and conducting visits, in order to explain and provide pollution prevention information which will enable the voluntary reduction of toxics. The fundamental goal is to strengthen the community's education, and experience, in making informed environmental health choices and to participating in long-term, sustainable solutions.

Measurable results include tracking the reduction of toxic compounds, when displaced by recommended pollution prevention chemicals, use of Best Management Practices, and the reduction of toxic emissions.

CARE Partners: The Rose Family Resource and Wellness Center of the Tucson Unified School District, Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, The University of Arizona, The City of Tucson Fire Department, Luz Social Services, Inc.

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