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California: Pacoima Beautiful (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The links below provide a description and documentation of a Pacoima, California project that received a Level I Cooperative Agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2005, and a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement in 2007. 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.


Pacoima Beautiful  (2005)
Pacoima, California
EPA Region 9

Pacoima Beautiful is the recipient of a Level I CARE Cooperative Agreement in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Pacoima Beautiful will use CARE funding to create a broad-based community group that understands the toxic risks in the community and sets priorities for action. Located in the northern region of the San Fernando Valley in California, Pacoima City has a population that is 85 percent Latino, with 46 percent living in poverty. Pacoima Beautiful outlined a work plan with the three key goals: (1) to identify and understand at least four sources of toxics in the community by meeting with community stakeholders and analyzing data; (2) to establish at least ten priorities to reduce toxic risks by setting priorities that will lead to effective action over the long term, and; (3) to develop effective collaborative problem solving partnerships of at least seven stakeholder groups. Pacoima Beautiful has recently recognized the relationship between toxics and health risks in the community. The city has become concerned with its proximity to a range of toxic sources, including multiple industrial facilities and the confluence of multiple transportation corridors. Other environmental health concerns emanate from polluting small businesses that do not have proper permits, many houses that were built prior to 1978, and used lead-based paint, and abandoned lots that have become dumping grounds for trash and hazardous waste.

Prospective CARE Partners: The Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the California State University Northridge (CSUN); the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at CSUN; the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department; Valley Care Community Consortium (VCCC); the County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services; the Northeast Valley Health Corporation; Los Angeles County Neighborhood Legal Services.

Pacoima Beautiful   (2007)
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 (CARB); Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC); California Regional Water Quality Control Board; South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD); Congressman Howard L. Berman; Senator Alex Padilla; LA County Board of Supervisors; Councilmember Richard Alarcon, Council Member Tony Cardenas.

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