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EPA Awards $100,000 Grant to Baltimore City Health Department Project

Release Date: 01/15/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 /

PHILADELPHIA ( January 15, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $100,000 Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant to the Healthy Homes and Communities Initiative, a project of the Baltimore City Health Department.

The CARE Program is a competitive grant program that offers communities an innovative way to address the risks from multiple sources of toxic pollution in their environment. Through CARE, communities create partnerships with residents, businesses, schools, local governments and nongovernment organizations to come up with solutions geared to reduce toxic pollutants. In addition to providing funding, EPA also provides technical assistance and resources.

The Baltimore City Health Department created the Healthy Homes and Communities Initiative to reduce health problems in asthma, lead poisoning and injuries among city residents. Southwest Baltimore is the focus community for the CARE project, which is a low-income, largely African American area located west of downtown Baltimore and north of the Chesapeake Bay. The community is made up of 12 neighborhoods.

The Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has identified five facilities in southwest Baltimore’s neighborhoods that produced toxic wastes, zinc, ethylene glycol, and polycyclic aromatic compounds. These neighborhoods also face housing environmental hazards including lead, mold, leaks, structural deficiencies, poor indoor air quality, and inadequate ventilation, which are associated with lead poisoning, asthma and other respiratory diseases. This project will develop community environmental health leadership in southwest Baltimore to identify and prioritize environmental health risks.

In 2008, EPA made $2.5 million available to 18 communities through the CARE program. Applications for the 2009 CARE grants are due March 16.

Additional information about the CARE program: