2021 Healthy Communities Grant Program
The Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New England’s main competitive grant program to fund work directly with communities to support EPA’s missionto reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life.The Healthy Communities Grant Program will achieve this through identifying and funding projects that:
- Target resources to benefit communities at risk [areas needing to create community resilience, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g.,children, elderly, tribes, urban and rural residents, and others at increased risk)].
- Assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks.
- Increase collaboration through partnerships and community-based projects.
- Build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems.
- Advance emergency preparedness and ecosystem resilience.
- Achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits.
To qualify as eligible projects under the Healthy Communities Grant Program, proposed projects must: (1) be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the Target Investment Areas; and (2) identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the Target Program Areas. Detailed descriptions of the target areas can be found in the application guidance below.
Center for EcoTechnology, Inc.
"Wasted Food Solutions New Haven County Phase III"
The Center for EcoTechnology was awarded $30,000 for their titled, "Wasted Food Solutions New Haven County Phase III". This project will focus on working with wasted food generators, including K-12 public and private schools and commercial generators to implement source reduction strategies for wasted food, diversion to food donation, and rescue as possible, and compost what cannot be donated in New Haven County. This initiative seeks to help businesses and institutions implement strategies across EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. Key activities include the implementation of reduction and diversion programs, developing and disseminating resources This project support economic growth in the region by replicating practices used in MA.
Partners: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP), South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG), Blue Earth Compost
Cumberland County Soil and Water
"Soil Lead Testing & Outreach to Gardiners in Greater Portland, Maine"
Cumberland County Soil and Water District was awarded $29,977 for a project titled "Soil Lead Testing & Outreach to Gardiners in Greater Portland, Maine". This project will increase awareness and understanding of the presence of soil lead contamination to home gardeners and the potential pathway of lead exposure to urban chicken keepers throughout the entire City of Portland, the neighboring City of Westbrook, and adjacent municipalities as time and budget will allow. This proposed project includes updating outreach materials developed for the 2019 Portland Soil Lead Awareness Project, including additional translations to reach immigrant families and other sensitive populations. Another objective of this proposal includes informing residents what lead levels mean in terms of home gardening and human health and developing action plans with recommendations tailored to site contamination levels and type of food produced.
Partners: University of Maine Analytical Laboratory & Maine Soil Testing Service, Maine Organic Farmers & Gardiners Association (MOFGA), City of Portland Public Health Division, City of Westbrook
Maine Indoor Air Quality Council
"Moisture-Managed Rental Properties"
The Maine Indoor Air Quality Council was awarded $30,000 for a project titled "Moisture-Managed Rental Properties". This project expands upon prior work by shifting to a more comprehensive, "moisture-managed property" approach to rental units in Maine through education, resource development, communication, and exploration of the existing policy landscape. This project will provide education and outreach utilizing the existing Mold & Moisture in Rental Properties guidance; adapt three of the existing guidance documents for landlord audiences and others interested in moisture-managed rental units; create a model policy for moisture-managed rental units that landlords and property managers can adapt and adopt; create and pilot trainings for this work; seek input from project participants on how to more widely disseminate this information; and explore statutes in the state of Maine and around the country on addressing moisture issues.
Partners: Maine Apartment Owners & Managers Association (MAOMA), Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Asthma Program, Maine Health Center for Tobacco Independence, Pine Tree Legal Assistance
"Pollution Prevention Interns in the Food and Beverage Sector for Healthy Communities"
The University of Massachusetts, Lowell was awarded $29,956 for their project titled,"Pollution Prevention Interns in the Food and Beverage Sector for Healthy Communities". This project will focus on helping UMass Lowell students gain an understanding of environmental issues and create a healthier work environment for the sensitive population of food and beverage sector workers. This project has been designed to teach students about the benefits of pollution prevention principles, tools, and implementation while also providing in-house assistance to facilities in identifying and implementing better ways to do business and create healthier and safer work environments and communities. UMass Lowell students will be placed for internships during the summer of 2022 to conduct Pollution Prevention (P2) focused projects at three different New England food and beverage processing or manufacturing facilities. They will assist the facilities implementation of recommendations, which will provide opportunities for reducing the generation of food waste, hazardous waste, and use of natural resources.
Partners: Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Massachusetts Food Association (MFA), National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR), Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), Oregon P2 interns
Third Sector New England
"Farm to Institution New England (FINE)"
The Third Sector New England was awarded $30,000 for their project titled,"Farm to Institution New England (FINE)". This project seeks to address the impacts of college "Grab n' Go" Dining. FINE aim to reduce the risk of perfluorocarbons (PFAS) in college dining containers due to COVID-19 responses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many food providers switched from in-person dining served on reusable kitchenware, to grab-n-go service in disposable packaging. (FINE) will partner with Smith College to identify the actual and potential point sources for PFAS at Smith, build understanding on the issues with PFAS and how Smith can help reduce the risks from PFAS in their dining operations, eliminate or reduce the actual occurrence of PFAS in the college's dining operations, and develop a "roadmap" to scale impact to the nearly 200 colleges and universities in New England with dining operations and other institutions in the region.
Partners: Farm to Institution New England (FINE), Smith College
Northeast Waste Management Official Association (NEWMOA)
"End Food Waste Initiative in East Boston"
Northeast Waste Management Official Association (NEWMOA) was awarded $30,000 for their project titled, "End Food Waste Initiative in East Boston". NEWMOA will partner with the East Boston Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS) to mobilize a food delivery system to help the neediest in East Boston’s diverse community. This project focuses on food zero waste reduction and diversion. The project’s vision is for the Maverick Landing community to achieve zero wasted food status, including a community that sources its food from local farms and achieves an 80% reduction in the generation of wasted food community-wide by rescuing food and redirecting it from disposal. Key activities include creating a steering committee, developing and implement end food waste strategies and involve the local community for education, training and assistance.
Partners: Boston Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS), Wellness Garden
"Merrimack Valley Saves Energy / Ahorra Energia"
Groundwork Lawrence was awarded $30,000 for their project titled,"Merrimack Valley Saves Energy/ Ahorra Energia". This project will focus on education and outreach to residents in small buildings (1-4 units) and small businesses in the Merrimack Valley (Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill) to connect them with energy assessments and energy efficiency retrofits for their homes and small businesses. This project seeks to reduce energy use and costs, while cutting carbon pollution and making the communities more resilient in the face of climate change. Key activities will include developing bilingual (Spanish and English) outreach materials, sign residents up for no-cost home energy assessments and retrofits, and sign -up small business owners for assessments and retrofits.
Partners: All in Energy, Energy Source
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
"Healthy and Efficient Homes Pilot Project"
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission was awarded $28,021 for their project titled,"Healthy and Efficient Homes Pilot Project". This project seeks to address indoor environmental hazards and energy efficiency issues in homes in the neighborhoods of Morningside and Westside in the City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This project aims to improve the overall health and safety of housing units in response to the health inequities experienced by residents and increase awareness of household hazards linked to poor health outcomes. Key activities include community outreach through surveys and listening sessions, developing educational materials outreach strategy for residents on environmental hazards.
Partners: Habitat for Humanity, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Pittsfield Public Health Department
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational and Healthy Safety (MassCOSH)
"Using a Peer Leadership to Ensure Clean, Green and Healthy Schools"
The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational and Health Safety (MassCOSH) awarded $30,000 for their project titled “Using a Peer Leadership to Ensure Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools”. This project focuses on Boston school student and staff health and their school buildings which are currently impacted by aged buildings and environmental health hazards. Building off the organization’s past project experience, a Peer Leadership Model will be utilized to engage youth and adult ambassadors to influence Boston school decision-makers about the importance of considering indoor air quality when making decisions about cleaning and disinfecting schools when protecting students and staff from exposure to Covid-19. The project will magnify the impact by increasing the number of youth and educators reached and engaged through peer-led presentations and discussions at town halls, workshops and other public forums. Utilizing a Massachusetts Asthma Advocacy Partnership (MAAP) on-line tool kit as a guide, the organization will provide education and coalition building with MAAP partners on model wellness policies for a best practices approach to asthma management and healthy school environments.
Partners: Health Resources in Action (HRIA), The Massachusetts Asthma Advocacy Partnership (MAAP), The Boston Teacher’s Union (BTU), The Boston Public Schools (BPS) Summer Enrichment Program
Center of EcoTechnology, Inc.
"Wasted Food Solutions Providence County Phase III (WFS PIII)"
The Center of Eco Technology, Inc. was awarded $30,000 for their project titled, "Wasted Food Solutions Providence County Phase III (WFS PIII)". This project will focus on reducing the quantity of wasted food entering the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream by working with target wasted food generators, including k-12 schools, event venues, healthcare facilities, colleges/universities, hospitality facilities, and food rescue and donation organizations in Providence County, including the municipalities of Cranston, Providence, Seekonk, and Pawtucket. This project seeks to extend the lifetime of Rhode Island's only landfill, , and reduce opportunities for contamination from vermin and vermin-borne illnesses associated with wasted food in MSW stream. WFS PIII strives to serve as a model for implementing cost-effective solutions to inspire surrounding counties to take action that reduce the environmental and public health issues surrounding food insecurity and wasted food. Key activities will include implementing diversion programs at target generators, providing technical assistance and education to Providence County generators on how to reduce, donate and divert wasted food and increase the county's awareness and capacity to reuse and divert food.
Partners: Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), The Rhode Island Food Policy Council, The Compost Plant and Groundwork/Harvest Cycle, RI Community Food Bank and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine
"Rhode Island Food Recovery Extension"
MEANS Database was awarded $30,000 for their project titled "Rhode Island Food Recovery Extension". This project will focus on expanding current food recovery efforts throughout the state to create a stronger, more resilient and increasingly inclusive food ecosystem. By providing transportation and building upon its existing network of food donors and emergency food providers through the state of RI, excess consumable food will be prevented from going to waste and, instead will reach more students and their families in need of food assistance- thus securing a more equitable food system with immediate and lasting impact. In order to create the least amount of waste possible, this project will furnish reusable and biodegradable packaging for food donated. This food recovery model will branch out to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meal recovery and will focus on environmental justice areas within the state where food insecurity is a problem.
Partners: Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Rhode Island (RLC)
The Asthma Regional Council of New England at Health Resources in Action (HRiA)
"Asthma and COVID-19 – Lessons, Challenges, and Opportunities"
The Asthma Regional Council of New England at Health Resources in Action (HRiA) was awarded $30,000 for their project titled "Asthma and COVID-19 – Lessons, Challenges, and Opportunities". This project will identify and reflect on new asthma-related challenges brought on and/or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this program, ARC will facilitate cross-state collaboration and capacity building to share the lessons, address challenges, and strategize about opportunities to address environmental conditions that contribute to asthma, with a focus on promoting racial and health equity in asthma outcomes, and considering COVID-19 stressors. The project builds upon ARC's past work, providing broad capacity building and technical assistance across New England. The project will continue to increase capacity amongst the six New England Asthma programs by convening and supporting ARC's Learning Community; organizing a New England wide ARC summit, broadly focused on lessons, challenges, and opportunities, particularly focused on Covid-19, and how it shed light on existing racial and health equity problems; and continue to contribute to the national dialogue, sharing experiences from New England in conversations and best practices around the country focused on asthma.
Partners: Connecticut Department of Public Health Asthma Program; Maine Department of Health and Human Services Asthma Prevention and Control Program; Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Asthma Prevention and Control Program; New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Asthma Program; Rhode Island Department of Health Asthma Program; and Vermont Department of Health Asthma Program
Ecology Action was awarded $29,832 for their project titled "Grocery Challenge". This project will provide educational audits and consultations in 20 grocery stores across New England to educate grocery store managers and their staff about opportunities to adopt more sustainable operational practices, resulting in measurable reductions in energy use and toxic cleaning chemicals use. EA will develop a mobile assessment tool to deliver site-specific pollution prevention assessments using a mobile app. The goal of this project is to protect communities, especially front-line workers and communities (particularly children), from direct emissions by on-site diesel generators (used to shed load during peak demand) and from unintentional exposure to toxics through both onsite chemical use and household chemical use. EA will conduct several challenges at the grocery stores focusing on energy consumption and toxics to help the store reduce the need to rely on direct exhaust diesel generators during peak energy usage, resulting in reduced air emissions. The Grocery Challenge is designed to be replicable and easily transferable to other communities.
Partners: Hannaford, Massachusetts Food Association (MFA), Rhode Island Food Dealers Association (RIFDA), Wakefern, Retail Learning Institute (RLI)