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EPA RECOGNIZES 4 COMMUNITIES IN THE SOUTHEAST AS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE REVITALIZATION PROJECTS
Release Date: 04/15/2003
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8421
|The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized four communities in the southeast selected as Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) Environmental Justice Revitalization Projects. Nationally, fifteen projects were selected. The purpose of the demonstration projects is to examine how collaborative models can be utilized for achieving environmental justice and promoting community revitalization. Selection is not accompanied by any specific funding commitment from any federal agency; however, selection will bring the project national exposure and recognition, provide greater access to resources from various stakeholders, and promote the project as a model for future collaborative partnerships.
"EPA is proud to recognize communities in the southeast that have been selected as Revitalization Projects and we appreciate the work their citizens do to address the multiple environmental, health, economic and social concerns of their communities," said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta, Georgia. "Our collaborative efforts will help to achieve environmental justice, where everyone, regardless of race, culture, or income, enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work."
The four community revitalization projects include the following:
City of Anniston, Alabama
ACTION, Inc., Belle Glade, Florida
City of Princeville, North Carolina
Rock Hill Council of Neighborhoods, Rock Hill, South Carolina
IWG Environmental Justice Revitalization Projects are designed to demonstrate the collaborative models to achieve environmental justice and promote community revitalization. The projects selected are intended to demonstrate the ''best practices'' of comprehensive, collaborative, and integrated problem-solving approaches and address the range of interrelated environmental, public health, economic, social concerns that collectively are known as environmental justice issues. These projects are based upon voluntary, local partnerships that build upon a holistic community vision. Centered in urban, tribal and rural communities across the country, the demonstration projects focus on improving the quality of life for minority, low-income, and tribal populations through environmental protection, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, community education, public health promotion, and capacity building.
IWG demonstration projects foster proactive, collaborative efforts that bring agencies, at all levels of government, to partner with diverse stakeholders in impacted communities. Together at ''the table'' for the first time, in some cases, participants: (1) Better understand each other's perspectives; (2) identify mutual interests and priorities; and (3) with this broader and shared view, mobilize existing resources (i.e., social, human, and financial resources) for the purpose of creating win-win solutions.