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Three community groups receive funds for Environmental Justice Collaboration
Release Date: 6/17/2004
Contact Information: Cecilia Contrearas
June 17, 2004
The EPA awarded cooperative agreements to three community-based organizations in the Pacific Northwest to launch projects that address local environmental and public health issues. Each of the projects will use a collaborative problem-solving approach to ensure that all people are receiving equal environmental protection regardless of race, color, national origin, or income. The three projects are among 30 nationally totaling $3,000,000.
The projects include a beach monitoring, closure and notification program along the east shore of Puget Sound. The Indochinese Cultural and Service Center in Pierce County, Washington will work with the community to monitor toxicity and issue alerts for Asian Pacific Islanders. The Community Coalition for Environmental Justice of Seattle will focus on an education program on exposure to indoor and outdoor neurotoxins for the residents of South Park, White Center and Beacon Hill in Seattle. Finally, Portland’s Environmental Justice Action Group will focus on addressing the problems of asthma and hazardous air pollutants in the North/Northeast neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon.
"Every person deserves the same protections from environmental hazards regardless of their race or cultural and traditional backgrounds,” said Melanie Wood, Regional Director for the Office for Civil Rights and Environmental Justice. “These groups focus on breaking down the barriers of communication and empowering the community to know when and how to take the steps necessary to protect themselves.”
Each organization will receive $100,000 over three years under the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program. To accomplish the goals of these projects, the recipients will form partnerships with other affected community and grassroots organizations, local governments, health care providers, industry, and academia. This program was established in 2003 to provide financial assistance to eligible, affected local community-based organizations.
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