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Citizens for Environmental Justice Among Winners of EPA’s First Annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards

Release Date: 10/21/2008
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293,

(ATLANTA – Oct. 21, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Citizens for Environmental Justice (CFEJ) in Savannah, Ga., is among 12 winners of its first annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards during an award ceremony today in Atlanta. The awards recognize organizations for their distinguished accomplishments in addressing environmental justice issues, ranging from reducing children’s pesticide exposure in childcare facilities to helping hurricane-displaced communities address environmental contamination so they could return home.

"We all have a stake in ensuring that our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our land is better protected," said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "These organizations are making a positive impact in their communities by promoting a clean and healthy environment for all people."

CFEJ was recognized for providing resources and support to individuals and communities throughout the country impacted by environmental, economic and social injustices. Among its most notable accomplishments, has worked hard to include youth and young stakeholders in the movement for environmental justice. The Black Youth Development Institute (BYDI) has equipped more than 200 young people to lead environmental justice campaigns in their communities. Since 2005, CFEJ and partners at Dillard University and Clark Atlanta University have conducted environmental worker education and job training program that graduates 20 students a year. Whether through BYDI or its annual Academic Institutions, Communities and Agencies Network meetings, CFEJ has consistently encouraged collaborative planning and problem solving by creating structured venues for a variety of stakeholders to address significant environmental justice concerns.

Other award recipients include representatives from community-based organizations; academic institutions; state and local governments; tribal governments and indigenous organizations; and non-governmental organizations and environmental groups.

The following organizations also received awards:

Anahola Homesteaders Council (Anahola, Kauai, HI)
Center for Environmental and Economic Justice (Biloxi, MS)
Communities for a Better Environment (Huntington Park, CA)
Dillard University, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (New Orleans, LA)
Duke University, Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (Durham, NC)
Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
Negocio Verde Environmental Justice Task Force (County of San Diego, CA)
New Mexico Environment Department (Santa Fe, NM)
Safer Pest Control Project (Chicago, IL)
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (Columbia, SC)
West End Revitalization Association (Mebane, NC)

Information on the EJ Achievement Award Program, including more details about this year's recipients:

Photo caption: (From left to right) Charles Lee, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Justice; Richard Moore, National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Chair; Robert Varney, EPA New England Regional Administrator; Dr. Mildred McClain, award recipient and Executive Director of Citizens for Environmental Justice; Granta Nakayama, EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA); Catherine McCabe, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, OECA; and Russell Wright, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator, EPA Region 4.