Region 1: EPA New England

Urban Environmental Program

Mission & Objectives

The Urban Environmental Program's mission is to improve the environment and enhance the quality of life for urban residents throughout New England by building community capacity to assess and resolve environmental problems, achieving measurable and sustainable improvements in urban communities, and restoring and revitalizing neighborhoods for urban residents.

Urban Environmental Program Logo
Working together to improve the quality of life for urban residents

Map of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Connecticut Program Overview Massachusetts Program Overview Rhode Island Program Overview

Click on each state for program overviews.

About the Urban Environmental Program

The environmental conditions in urban areas throughout New England and across the country expose residents to significant public health hazards every day from toxics, heavy metals, poor ambient and indoor air quality, and a lack of open and green space. These conditions create cumulative, disproportionate and inequitable health risks to urban residents, especially high risk populations such as children and the elderly.

The Urban Environmental Program (UEP) was formalized in 2002 after the success of the Urban Environmental Initiative pilot program that worked since 1995 to improve the quality of life for urban residents in Boston, MA; Providence, RI; and Hartford, CT. The UEP has expanded the targeted city effort to now address environmental and public health concerns in urban areas throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

The Urban Environmental Program is dedicated to specifically addressing the magnitude and complexity of urban environmental problems in a way that engages, informs, and responds to local resident needs. The UEP takes an active role in listening to community needs and concerns, identifying projects, and providing resources to implement projects that make measurable improvements in public health and the quality of the urban environment. The UEP Program Managers work with external partners to identify the most critical issues to target resources, and the priority will reflect community need and will likely vary between states. The following are issues of concern for many urban communities:

These environmental and public health issues and topics are cross-checked with internal and external partners to ensure that UEP's work reflects the concerns, priorities, and needs of our target communities. The EPA New England programs that have a linkage with UEP work (i.e., Environmental Justice, Lead, Pesticides, Indoor Air Quality/Asthma, Brownfields, Smart Growth, Children's Health, etc.) are engaged as needed to develop coordinated work objectives and implementation strategies, provide program expertise, technical assistance and other critical resources to support target community based projects and efforts.