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News Releases from Region 10

Four Pacific Northwest Organizations Receive Environmental Justice Grants from EPA

Contact Information: 
Judy Smith EPA Public Affairs (smith.judy@epa.gov)

EJ small grant program helps inform communities and build local climate resiliency

(Seattle, WA - October 08, 2015) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of grants totaling $117,819 to four non-profit and tribal organizations in the Pacific Northwest to support environmental justice work in local areas. These grants were among 40 grants totaling $1.2 million that were awarded nationally.

"In neighborhoods and communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution, these small grants from the EPA empower local efforts to raise awareness, address environmental issues and make a difference for local residents," said David Allnutt, Director of EPA Region 10's Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs. "Through these grants, four communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska can identify and address risks to human health and the environment while building resilience to the effects of a changing climate."

Here is a snapshot of the 2015 grantees and their proposals:

Beyond Toxics, Eugene, Oregon received $28,448 to help residents learn how protecting wetlands can reduce their vulnerability to flooding in flood prone areas and to work with residents to reduce health risks from exposure to fine particulate matter. In addition, Beyond Toxics will help develop climate resiliency by teaching residents to grow organic and culturally appropriate foods in a community garden. This project will emphasize efforts with vulnerable members of the Hispanic community.

Seattle Tilth Association, Seattle, Washington received $29,331 to launch the South King County Just Garden Project. This project will teach residents how to reduce pollution in the Green-Duwamish watershed and Puget Sound by building healthy soil, reducing use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides and reducing stormwater runoff. In addition, Seattle Tilth will build community resiliency by helping families grow healthy food for their families without environmental harm. The project seeks to construct at least 90 garden beds in low-income residential complexes.

Chickaloon Native Village (traditional ancestral territory), Alaska received $30,000 to educate the local community on the potential public health and environmental effects of coal mining. This project is focused on community education and engagement in environmental decision making that is protective of public health, air, water, fish and wildlife. The project will increase community awareness of the connection between coal surface strip mining and climate impacts. In addition, the project will create a formal community stakeholder engagement plan, to assess community concerns and goals, and develop a final Community Environmental Health Report to share with policy and decision makers.

Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Washington received $30,000 to increase awareness and direct participation in renewable energy generation by agriculture producers through Renewable Energy Farm Walks. These on-farm education events will focus on renewable energy technology. The project goal is to provide peer-to-peer education and resources to farmers who need assistance on proper installation and usage.

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, EPA's environmental justice small grants program has supported projects to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,400 communities. The grants represent EPA's continued commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and advance environmental justice in communities across the nation.

Read EPA's national news release

2015 EJ Small Grant recipients and project descriptions (PDF) (20 pp, 300K)

More information regarding the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, including descriptions of previously funded grants.