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EPA and Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement Renew Commitment to Protect the Environment

Release Date: 10/11/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, (215)814-5543

Bonnie Smith, (215)814-5543

PHILADELPHIA– U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman today along with the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement (EASI) participated in a signing ceremony to renew a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between EPA and EASI, in Philadelphia. The purpose of the MOU is to promote and encourage senior involvement to protect and clean up the environment.

“At EPA we recognize the need to involve all Americans in the protection of our natural resources and our environment,” said Administrator Whitman. “Citizen involvement is essential to ensure a clean and healthy environment for the present as well as future generations.”

"The new MOU reflects and demonstrates the EPA and EASI commitment to the continued involvement of our older citizens in stewardship activities that protect the environment and public health,” said EASI's President Tom Benjamin. “The Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps, the internationally-recognized model for citizen participation, is a perfect host for the formal renewal and expansion of the EPA-EASI partnership."

The purpose of the MOU is to develop partnerships and ensure coordination between EPA and the EASI to identify environmental needs that could be met by senior volunteers; develop an awareness of the value of seniors as volunteers within the environmental community; and expand senior environmental volunteer programs. The MOU provides a general framework within which to structure coordinated efforts to increase the involvement of senior volunteers in environmental protection activities at national, regional, state, tribal and local levels by means of consulting and sharing expertise, information and technical assistance.
EASI has worked with EPA on several successful ventures, including the Brownfields Research Project, the Source Water Protection Project and the Radon Testing/Mitigation Project. This summer, EPA awarded a $95,000 environmental health grant to EASI. This grant will fund the “Senior Mentors to Children’s Environmental Health” project, which will promote the environmental health of children in local communities through collaborations between the Senior Environmental Corps and local youth groups working together to reduce environmental threats. The project will rely on the expertise of senior volunteers and emeritus members of the American Public Health Association to develop training materials and two pilot environmental health programs, one of which will be in Pennsylvania.

EASI, the world’s largest senior environmental action network, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the environmental ethic, expertise and commitment of older Americans to expand citizen involvement in protecting and caring for our environment for present and future generations.

EASI, developed as a result of a MOU in 1991 between EPA and the American Association of Retired Persons, builds partnerships among government agencies, organizations, corporations and foundations to involve senior volunteers in local community environmental projects. EASI also provides leadership training for senior volunteer leaders in environmental projects, maintains the Senior Environmental Information Network and a national database on the activities of senior environmental volunteers and provides an international forum to recognize seniors and their environmental projects. Currently, EASI projects engage more than 20,000 active senior volunteers and more than 100,000 volunteers of all ages annually.