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EPA Funds Community-Based Projects In Oneida County To Reduce Local Exposure To Pollution

Release Date: 11/3/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Thursday, November 3, 2005

(#05130) NEW YORK, N.Y. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $89,000 to the Oneida County Health Department as part of the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant program. CARE supports communities in creating and using collaborative partnerships to reduce exposure to pollutants. Oneida County was chosen for this grant out of a field of 132 applicants nationwide in this inaugural year of the CARE program.

“CARE is a new EPA initiative designed to help communities improve their local environment for residents and workers,” EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg explained. “This can best be accomplished when groups at the local level identify areas of concern and set the agenda for action. EPA will provide technical assistance and support throughout the process.”

The Oneida County Health Department received a Level l CARE grant to help it create partnerships and develop plans for reducing exposure to pollution in its local area, and set its own agenda for action. With its Level I funding, the Oneida County Health Department will canvas and prioritize pollutants and create a collaborative partnership to make community decisions on high priority pollutants.

“A healthy community begins with a healthy environment. The CARE project addresses environmental issues that negatively impact public health and responds to one of the leading health concerns identified by our community,” County Executive Joseph A. Griffo said.” Griffo continued, “We take great pride in having been recognized by EPA for this important work.”

Oneida County has identified several environmental health concerns including:

    • Indoor and outdoor air pollution, including radon
    • Hazardous materials associated with numerous brownfields, and lead, common to an aging infrastructure
    • Soil contamination
    • Water pollution
    • Waste disposal
The Rochester Center for Environmental Information, which has already established existing collaborative partnerships and action plans for pollution reduction, was also awarded a CARE grant. As a Level II grant recipient, the Center for Environmental Information plans to implement six mini-projects dedicated to reducing pollution in areas already identified as high priority by their local collaborative partnership.

For more information, visit EPA’s Web site at