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Release Date: 01/03/2012
Contact Information: Josh Singer, 312-353-5069,


(CHICAGO – Jan. 3, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced four environmental justice grants totaling $100,000 to non-profit and tribal organizations in the Great Lakes region.

These grants for projects in Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin will help to conduct research, provide education and develop solutions to health and environmental issues in communities overburdened by pollution. Environmental justice is the principle of achieving the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards for all people, regardless of race, color, national origin or income.

Below is more information about the four environmental justice grants of $25,000 each awarded in the Great Lakes region in 2011.

- Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians, Beltrami, Minnesota: Improve wells and septic systems on the Red Lake Reservation by assisting in repairs of failing systems and educating tribal members about proper maintenance. Failing septic systems are a public health threat due to nitrogen, phosphorous and bacteria affecting surface water, ground water and well water. Partners in this project include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Indian Health Service, Red Lake Housing Authority and the University of Minnesota.

- Improving Kids' Environment, Indianapolis, Indiana: Analyze lead levels in soil in the Martindale-Brightwood community, identify airborne particulate hot spots in the Near Westside community and use the combined data to educate people and protect children from lead poisoning. Partners include the Martindale-Brightwood Environmental Justice Collaborative, Indiana University Center for Urban Health and Earth Sciences Department, and Westside Cooperative Organization.

- Cleveland Tenants Organization, Cleveland, Ohio: Prevent and treat issues with bed bug infestations. CTO will educate landlords, property managers and tenants in subsidized multi-unit family housing developments about how to prevent bed bug infestations and reduce the misuse of pesticides. Partners include Environmental Health Watch, Cleveland Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Cleveland Office.

- Social Development Commission, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Reduce the risks to children of lead exposure through education and by helping low-income families assess their homes and abate lead dangers. Partners include the city of Milwaukee Health Department, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center and Wisconsin Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

EPA also announced it is seeking applicants for $1 million in environmental justice small grants expected to be awarded in 2012. Nationwide, EPA awarded more than $1 million in grants in 2011 to 46 non-profit and tribal organizations working on environmental justice issues.

More information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants program and a list of grantees: