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Pennsylvania: Penn State University Integrated Pest Management Project (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary below provides a description of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania project that received a cooperative agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2006. 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.


Penn State University 
State College, Pennsylvania 
EPA Region 3

Penn State University (PSU) is the recipient of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement targeting environmental risks in Philadelphia communities. PSU has over 20 years experience working with Integrated Pest Management (IPM). PSU is involved in developing IPM management practices recommendations and policies at the national, regional, state and local levels. Philadelphia neighborhoods targeted for this project are located in low income areas. Education attainment is low. These communities were selected because they contain a large percentage of family households with significant populations of elderly and children less than 18 years of age. Houses in these communities were built between 1940 and 1960. Residents in these communities are vulnerable to pest and pesticide exposures.

The goal of this two year Level II risk-reduction project, is to measurably reduce the negative environmental and public health impacts by pesticides on the selected community. It is expected to result in a significant reduction of human exposure to pesticide pollutants in the home, air and water. Critical topics include pesticide contamination issues in multiple environments and simple steps to reduce these exposures. The major effort is to educate the community in using specific, effective, affordable and less toxic IPM solutions to address pest problems. Specific goals are: 1) – Raise awareness and understanding of pest infestation causes and pest and pesticide risks to personal and environmental health; 2) – Reduce personal pesticide risks and releases into the environment though increasing residents’ ability to apply less toxic IPM solutions, and; 3) – Create educational materials for families, health professionals, educators and housing entities on prevention of pesticide contamination.

CARE Partners: The IPM program of PSU formed a community-based partnership (Philadelphia School and Community IPM Partnership). The partnership is large, and only a few partners will be mentioned here: The Nurse Family, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Children Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Water Department,  Schuykill Center for Environmental Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.