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Strafford, Vt. Community Group Shares in EPA Grant

Release Date: 01/19/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston, 01/19/06) - A Strafford, Vt., organization focused on educating residents about a Superfund site in the area is among four community groups in New England receiving a total of $100,000 in Environmental Justice Small Grants.

The Strafford Historical Society received $25,000 to create a one-hour documentary and two 20-minute documentaries addressing the environmental concerns associated with three copper mines in Orange County, Vt. The documentaries will tell the history of the mines and the combined work of citizens and the EPA to clean up the mines.

“These EPA grants will help sow the seeds to protect people who live in areas more vulnerable to environmental challenges," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "This grant to the Strafford Historical Society will result in activities that will reduce the risk for people living in and around the copper mines.”

The Strafford Historical Society, started in 1955, aims to preserve the sites, records, relics and related materials pertaining to the history of the town and to apply the lessons of history to better the town today. An all-volunteer organization, it has been an active member of the Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site Community Advisory Group, which represents the citizens of the town in communicating with the EPA about the contaminated former copper mining site. Partners include local and state government agencies and Dartmouth College. The three key collaborative partners are the Strafford Select Board, the State of Vermont’s Division for Historic Preservation and the Center for Environmental Health Sciences at Dartmouth College.

The grant was given out as part of EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants program, which was launched in 1994 as a way to help ensure equal environmental protection and equal enforcement of environmental laws and policies for all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, culture or income.

Under the same program, in New England EPA also provided grants to organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. More information on this program is available at: .

More information on environmental justice issues in New England is available at: .

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