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EPA Awards $60,000 in Environmental Justice Grants to Northern California Projects

Release Date: 09/11/2013
Contact Information: David Yogi, , 415-972-3350

Organizations focus on issues in Oakland, Richmond; $1.1 Million Awarded to Groups Nationally

SAN FRANCISCO— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded $60,000 in grants to two organizations in Oakland and Richmond, Calif., for projects to address environmental justice issues. The projects include working with students to transform existing waste management practices and the development of best practices to reduce chemical exposure for employees working at nail salons. The grants will enable the organizations to develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in low-income, minority and tribal communities overburdened by harmful pollution.

“EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants are making a visible difference in Alameda County,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These grants equip communities with the necessary tools to address environmental challenges in their neighborhoods.”

This year, EPA awarded a total of $1.1 Million in competitive grants to 39 non-profit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. This year’s Northern California grants include the following:

The Watershed Project
Project: WasteMatters
Grant Amount: $30,000
Location: Richmond, Calif.
WasteMatters will be based at Fairmont Elementary School in El Cerrito, CA which serves Richmond and El Cerrito neighborhoods and will work with students to transform existing waste management practices into zero waste by training Kindergarten through sixth grade-grade students in the 4R’s (reduce, recycle, reuse, and rot). As part of the program students will take information learned home to initiate zero waste concepts at home and in their communities.

Asian Health Services
Project: Healthy and Green Nail Salons—Reducing Chemical Exposure for Nail Salon Workers in California.

Grant Amount: $30,000
Location: Oakland, Calif.
Healthy and Green Nail Salons will develop a model of best practices and concepts for salons to reduce chemical exposure for workers in the nail salon industry. In partnership with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, the outreach program will reach up to 70 Vietnamese nail salon community members representing nail salons in Alameda County as well as workers and owners from Marin and Santa Clara Counties.

An additional $60,000 in grants was awarded to two organizations in Southern California. EPA’s environmental justice efforts aim to ensure equal environmental and health protections for all Americans, regardless of race or socioeconomic status.

Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, EPA’s environmental justice small grants program has supported projects to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,400 communities. The grant awards represent EPA’s commitment to promoting community-based actions to address environmental justice issues.

In the fall of 2013, EPA will issue a Request for Proposals for the FY 2014 Collaborative Problem Solving Grants. A schedule of pre-application community stakeholder teleconference calls will be announced at that time.

2013 EJ Small Grant recipients and project descriptions:

More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program: