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EPA awards Denver partnership $308K to address toxic pollution

Release Date: 11/3/2005
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      Denver -- Groundwork Denver, Inc., on behalf of the Healthy Air for Northeast Denver (HAND) Partnership, was awarded one of the Environmental Protection Agency's first Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grants today in a ceremony at Swansea Elementary School in Denver. The partnership was awarded $308,170 and is one of 12 communities across the nation to receive part of the first $2 million of CARE funds.

      CARE is a new EPA initiative designed to support community-based, community-driven projects to reduce local exposure to toxic pollution. The program is designed to build partnerships to help communities understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources. Award recipients will tackle a wide variety of environmental health issues in both rural and urban areas. EPA works directly with CARE communities by providing technical support, tools and training, and by helping to identify voluntary programs that address community environmental health concerns.

      "We have learned that while our environmental programs have succeeded in cleaner air, water and land, there are still communities with problems that national solutions do not address," said Robert E. Roberts, EPA's Region 8 Administrator. "One way to help local communities is to work with them to develop local solutions to their local environmental problems."

      The Denver HAND project will use CARE funds to reduce toxic emissions impacts from diesel trucks by educating fleet managers in NE Denver on best ways to maintain diesel engines. Pollution prevention outreach focused on reducing other sources of toxic emissions will also be provided to the owners of small businesses in the area. The scope of the HAND Project includes the neighborhoods of Cole, Clayton, Elyria, Swansea, Sunnyside, Globeville and Commerce City.

      "CARE funds will allow us to work with neighbors at a local level and jump start a process for involving our community in improving the environment of Northeast Denver," said Fernando Pineda-Reyes, Executive Director of Groundwork Denver, Inc.

      There are two types of CARE cooperative agreements. The smaller Level I cooperative agreements are approximately $85,000 each and will help communities organize and create collaborative partnerships dedicated to reducing toxics in their local environments.

      Level II awards are larger -- approximately $300,000 -- and are for communities like Northeast Denver, St. Louis and New Haven, Conn., that have already established broad-based partnerships and have identified the priority toxic risks in the communities. These communities are further along in the CARE process and are prepared to measure results, implement the risk reduction activities and become self-sustaining.

      More information about CARE and all 12 cooperative agreements is available at: