(CNSNews.com) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the recipients of nearly $1.2 million in grants to non-profit and tribal organizations “to address environmental justice issues nationwide.”
“The grants enable these organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority and low-income communities overburdened by harmful pollution,” the Oct. 8 press release stated.
"EPA’s environmental justice grants help communities across the country understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level," Matthew Tejada, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, said in the press release."
“Addressing the impacts of climate change is a priority for EPA and the projects supported by this year’s grants will help communities prepare for and build resilience to localized climate impacts,” Tejada said.
“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” thedocument announcing the recipients of the grant funding stated.
“Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal state, local, and tribal programs and policies,” the documents stated.
One of the recipients is the Green Jobs Corps in New Haven Connecticut for “Creating a New Generation of New Haven Environmental Justice Leaders.”
The Greater Northeast Development Corporation in Virginia will use a “community-based participatory approach for southeast community resilience and adaptation to address lung health impacts exacerbated by climate change.”
In certain neighborhoods in Baltimore, Md., the grant funding will “mitigate the impacts of climate change on these communities by increasing the area of ‘green’ spaces …”
The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago will help make the Chatham neighborhood “rain ready” to prepare for an increase of “rain events” from climate change.
Some other projects being funded include:
• A program will install solar panels in the homes of low-income residents in Colorado.
• Teaching Washington state residents about producing “locally grown food with a low-carbon footprint.”
• Educate residents of the Chickaloon Native Village in Alaska about “the connection between coal surface strip mining, transporting, exporting, and consumption in relation to climate impacts, how climate impacts are being experienced locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. “
• Ground Water New Orleans will be “teaching students to design, build, and install solar powered charging benches on or near bus stops in underserved communities.”
This grant funding dates back to 1994, according to the recipient document.
“In 1994, the Office of Environmental Justice established the Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program whose purpose is to assist communitybased/grassroots organizations and tribal governments that are working on local solutions to local environmental problems. Funding specifically supports affected local communitybased efforts to examine issues related to a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.”
The document stated that the funds are divided equally between organizations in 10 regions across the country designated by EPA.