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New Haven Awarded $300,000 by EPA to Improve Environment and Reduce Toxic Emissions

Release Date: 11/04/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: November 4, 2005; Release # dd051102

BOSTON – As part of its new Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Cooperative Agreement Program, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the City of New Haven approximately $300,000 for its Green New Haven Project to reduce exposure to toxic emissions – with $50,000 to be used to support Brownfields hazardous waste site assessments.

The City was one of 12 communities selected to be funded by the national CARE program – with total grant awards of approximately 2 million dollars, nationwide. CARE is designed to help communities address environmental concerns by using community-based, locally-driven strategies. The program helps foster important local partnerships and encourages community groups and government to work together to achieve common goals aimed at reducing toxic risks from multiple routes and sources.

“This partnership agreement with the City of New Haven encourages a holistic approach to environmental protection by encouraging local groups to work together to reduce exposure to toxins in our environment and improve quality of life,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “By tackling such urban problems as diesel exhaust, non-point source pollution, and green space, residents of New Haven will be able to breathe easier and enjoy a healthier environment.”

The City will use the funding to expand its existing air toxics initiative into a comprehensive air, water and land stewardship program. City agencies have formed partnerships with government agencies and local groups and will utilize community-wide resources to work on environmental initiatives targeted by the Green New Haven program.

"New Haven is proud of its efforts to improve the quality of the air our children breath,” commented New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “This grant is a reflection of that success, but also on the work that remains. Far too many of our children suffer from asthma and this grant will help us help them."

New Haven received the larger of the two funding categories offered by the CARE program due to its previous efforts in identifying its priority air toxic risks and taking steps to reduce the community’s exposure though voluntary measures. New Haven has already adopted the LEED standard for all new schools, is currently purchasing ultra low sulfur diesel fuel for its municipal fleet and school buses, developing measures to address construction equipment exhaust, assisting families in reducing asthma triggers and providing pollution prevention mentors for local businesses.

One of the most important efforts for the program is to continue its existing community clean air initiative by pursuing broad reductions in air toxic and particulate air emissions from point, area and on and off-road sources. New Haven continues to work with its partners to target reduction in diesel emissions. Exhaust from diesel engines includes small particles, known as fine particulate matter, and toxic and smog-forming pollutants. Fine particles pose a serious health risk because they can easily pass through the nose and throat and lodge themselves deep in the lungs. When inhaled repeatedly, the pollutants in diesel exhaust may aggravate asthma and allergies or cause other serious health problems including lung cancer.

New Haven also plans to use the funds to improve the City’s environment and improve the health of its residents through: promotion of renewable power sources; improvement of residential land use patterns; improvements to wastewater treatment facilities; education on non-point source pollution and stormwater runoff; protection of sensitive wetlands; land preservation; community gardens, urban forestry and tree improvement programs. All of the activities of this Green New Haven Program will be coordinated at the City Plan Department in collaboration with the city’s Department of Health Environmental Health Program.

New Haven’s partners to the cooperative agreement include: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection; Environment Northeast; the New Haven Environmental Justice Network; New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, Inc.; Connstep, Inc.; Yale University; Schooner, Inc.; the City of New Haven Department of Health Community Service Administration; the New Haven Ecology Project Inc.; the New Haven Land Trust, Inc.

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

Related Information:
Air Monitoring: New England Regional Laboratory
Air Quality Index