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New Jersey Non-Profits Receive Grants To Address Environmental Justice Concerns;Groups Will Use Money to Improve Urban Planning and Bolster Fish Consumption Advisories

Release Date: 10/27/1999
Contact Information:

(#99170) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted more than $27,000 to two non-profit groups in New Jersey to help them address environmental justice issues in their communities. The grants will benefit communities in Newark and Union County.

"By awarding these grants, EPA hopes to empower members of minority or low-income communities by giving them a voice and to ensure that they do not shoulder a disproportionate share of pollution," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "All Americans deserve to be protected from pollution -- not just those who can afford to live in wealthy communities."

The grant recipients in New Jersey are:

County of Union, Division of Environmental Health; Westfield, New Jersey

Project: Community Outreach to At Risk Urban Residents and Anglers in the Arthur Kill section of the Newark Bay Complex.

Funding Awarded: $13,450

The Arthur Kill Section of the Newark Bay Complex is a contaminated brackish water system which supports aquatic life found in both fresh and marine waters. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has issued fish and crab consumption advisory guides for this area. However, language barriers and limited access to traditional information outlets have left some subsistence fishers and urban anglers unaware of these warnings. Therefore, the County of Union, in coordination with the NJDEP and the City of Elizabeth, will produce a Spanish language video for women's health clinics, hold educational workshops at community organizations and churches, and talk with anglers along the waterfront. These efforts will be supplemented by printed handouts and permanent metal warning signs.

Newark Environmental Coalition, Newark, New Jersey

Project: Local Environmental Empowerment Project (LEEP)

Funding Awarded: $14,000

The Local Environmental Empowerment Project (LEEP) will work to ensure that Newark residents are given a proper voice in the design of the city's Master Plan, which is currently being developed. This plan will guide Newark's long-term growth and development. Special attention will be given to minority and low-income areas of Newark. The project will facilitate communication between stakeholders by sponsoring community forums with city planners and educating residents through bilingual literature and public meetings. In this way, program coordinators hope to encourage the maximum informed public input. LEEP will advocate a Master Plan that preserves and expands open space and recreational lands, while providing for environmentally-sound brownfield redevelopment.

For more information contact:

Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: