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EPA Awards $120,000 Environmental Justice Grant to address illegal dumping in San Luis Valley (Colo.)

Release Date: 10/01/2014
Contact Information:

EPA Awards $120,000 Environmental Justice Grant to address illegal dumping in San Luis Valley (Colo.)

Contact: Lisa McClain-Vanderpool, 303-312-6077; April Nowak, 303-312-6528
Michael Armenta, CCCW EJ CPS Project Coordinator Andrea Guajardo, CCCW Executive Director

(Denver, Colo. – Oct.1, 2014) The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Conejos County Clean Water, Inc. (CCCW) of Antonito, CO, a $120,000 Environmental Justice grant to address illegal dumping in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.

Over a two year period, the project will identify illegal dumps, barriers to solid waste disposal, and strive to divert recyclables by establishing a recycling program. The rural San Luis Valley is burdened by illegal dumping, in part due to the lack of local landfills. The regional landfill is 100 miles away from some communities and cost prohibitive for many. CCCW will work in a collaborative partnership with federal, state, and local governments including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, county land use offices; community based organizations and networks and, industry, including Waste Management, to address illegal dumping in Conejos and Costilla Counties. The grant will also result in a model that can be applied to the six county San Luis Valley.

“Conejos County Clean Water and their partners have a proven track record in addressing environmental issues and achieving solutions in the San Luis Valley,” said Shaun McGrath, Regional Administrator in EPA’s Denver office. “We look forward to seeing the human health and environmental improvements that will come when illegal dumping disappears.”

This EPA grant is one of 12 grants totaling $1.4 million awarded to community-based organizations and tribal governments who are working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding for non-profit and tribal organizations to partner with stakeholders from across industry, government, and academia to develop and implement solutions that significantly address environmental and/or public health issues in American communities.

“These cooperative agreements empower communities to implement environmental protection projects locally,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “With these agreements, EPA advances our commitment to communities by providing financial and technical assistance to take action against environmental harm.”

Please visit for a complete listing of the 2014 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement recipients and project descriptions.

EPA is currently accepting applications for the fiscal year 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. The Request for Applications is open now, from September 23, 2014 to December 15, 2014. . Pre-application teleconference calls will be available during the open competition. To learn more about the open EJ Small Grants opportunity:

More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program: