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Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force recognized by EPA

Release Date: 12/16/2011
Contact Information: Sheryl Stohs, EPA Region 10 Environmental Justice Liaison, 206-553-0250,, Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1203,

EPA also awards $50,000 Environmental Justice Grants to community-based organizations in Oregon

(Seattle – Dec. 16, 2011) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran today presented an award for outstanding work to further environmental justice to the Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF). EJTF is being recognized for their effective implementation of Oregon State legislation and Task Force initiatives which incorporate environmental justice considerations into State agencies’ programs. Other significant milestones include:

    • The creation of a “Your voice for Environmental Justice” document outlining citizens’ rights to be involved in decisions that affect their quality of life
    • Organizing a community event to introduce the Task Force and its work to the public
    • Partnership with community-based groups to develop demographic maps of statewide environmental justice communities
EJTF was created by the Oregon legislature to help protect minority and low-income Oregonians from disproportionate environmental impacts. The Task Force role is to advise the Governor about environmental justice issues, and to help the Governor’s office and state natural resource agencies identify and address environmental justice throughout the State.

“EPA is pleased to recognize Oregon’s EJ Task Force for its ability to incorporate environmental justice considerations into State agencies’ programs,” said Dennis McLerran, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Seattle. “Bringing communities and State agencies together when making decisions that affect their quality of life can only help our most overburdened communities to become healthier, and more sustainable.”

EPA will also be awarding $25,000 Environmental Justice Grants to two community-based organizations in Oregon as part of the agency’s Environmental Justice Small Grant Program. These grants will assist communities to address environmental and public health issues at the local level.

The recipients are:


: Beyond Toxics - $25,000
The EJ in West Eugene: Families, Health and Air Pollution Project
: Eugene, OR
: Air Quality

The “
Families, Health and Air Pollution Project” seeks to reduce the asthma risk among West Eugene School District children. This project will conduct community health research of West Eugene, Oregon. The projects goals are to perform GIS mapping and conduct a toxic tour of the affected community area. Beyond Toxics will work to address the problems of disproportionate pollution exposure and poor health outcomes for children in low-income neighborhoods of the West Eugene School District and educate the community on asthma risk reduction. Beyond Toxics contact: Lisa Arkin, 541-465-8860 Email:

Josiah Hill III Clinic - $25,000
Green Steward Project
Portland, OR
Toxic substances, Air Quality

The “
Green Steward Project” will train faith based congregations to reduce exposure to toxics chemicals and indoor air pollutants. The project will train 120 congregants to reduce human environmental exposure to toxic chemicals and indoor air pollutants. Josiah Hill III Clinic will work with the congregations to deliver workshops and green cleaning parties to raise awareness of toxic chemicals and human health impacts. The Clinic will conduct blood screening clinics at each congregation and educate on lead poisoning and environmental hazards for young children. Josiah Hill III Clinic contact: Charles A. McGee, 503-334-9694 Email:

Nationally, EPA awarded 46 grants totaling more than $1 million to address environmental justice issues and concerns in communities throughout the United States.

For additional information about EJTF, visit:

For additional information about EJ award program, visit:

EPA’s national news release on EJ Grants, visit:!OpenDocument

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