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$300,000 Grant Will Help Savannah Residents Reduce Toxics in Their Neighborhoods

Release Date: 03/03/2009
Contact Information: Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293,

(ATLANTA – Mar. 3, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded $300,000 to Harambee House, a nonprofit organization in Savannah, Ga., for continuing work to help the Hudson Hill and Woodville neighborhoods understand and reduce local pollution.

The award is part of EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program which supports communities in creating and using collaborative partnerships to reduce exposure to pollution through voluntary risk reduction activities. Since the program was established four years ago, CARE has provided a total of $10.4 million to 64 communities nationwide. The Savannah CARE project is one of just four nationally to have received both Level 1 and Level 2 funding.

“Under the first phase of the grant, Harambee House and its partners were extremely successful in educating Hudson Hill and Woodville about toxic issues,” said Russell L. Wright, EPA Region 4 Assistant Regional Administrator. “With this second grant, the communities will engage new partners, including local businesses and industries, and build on their success by implementing new projects to help reduce the risk of exposure to everyday toxins.”

Some of the goals of the Savannah CARE Level 2 project are to:

    Engage business and industry representatives to determine emissions reductions and other environmental improvements that can be made on a voluntary basis, with support from EPA’s Voluntary Partnership Programs;
    Implement strategies to address community environmental public health concerns;
    Implement Emergency Preparedness Plans and Procedures in the Community;
    Reduce transportation associated emissions in the community;
    Improve community property and increase greenspace;
    Improve water quality and access to water resources for the local community; and
    Engage residents in identified air quality issues and monitoring.

“After many years of struggle and challenge these two neighborhoods are seeing progress toward addressing many environmental and health concerns in collaboration with their industries who co-exist with them,” said Dr. Mildred McClain, executive director of Harambee House. “This process sets the stage for great things to come – a permanent mechanism that will lead to healthy, safe and clean neighborhoods as well as the advancement toward environmental justice.”

“The CARE Level 2 project will provide us with an opportunity to work with our industrial neighbors and partners to educate each other about environmental conditions in our neighborhoods,” said Tyrone Ware, President of the Woodville Neighborhood Association. “We will work to reduce potential hazards and enhance the quality of life for our residents and industrial neighbors.”

Established in 2005, the EPA CARE program is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for communities to take action to reduce toxic pollution from numerous sources. Through CARE, communities create local collaborative partnerships that implement local solutions to reduce releases of and minimize exposure to toxic pollutants.

There are two types of CARE cooperative agreements. The smaller Level I cooperative agreements are approximately $90,000 each and help communities organize and create collaborative partnerships dedicated to reducing toxics in their local environments. Level II awards are larger – approximately $275,000 – and are designed to support communities that have already established broad-based partnerships and have identified the priority toxic risks in the community. Level II communities are further along in the CARE process and are prepared to measure results, implement the risk reduction activities, and become self-sustaining.

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