Region 1: EPA New England

State Program Overview: Rhode Island

EPA-New England started a focused program in Providence, RI in 1995 when the Urban Environmental Initiative began. Providence is fortunate to have an active base of environmental organizations dedicated to a variety of issues including lead poisoning, green space/vacant lots and water and air quality. UEP's approach in Providence, RI has focused on linking together the efforts of active environmental non-profits with city, state, federal government, academia, and industry to promote urban environmental restoration and improvements in public health.

Since 2002, when the Urban Environmental Program was formalized, the program has expanded its targeted efforts to focus its energy on the top tier of cities across the state which yielded the highest point total from the following data categories:

  • Population
  • Lowest Median Household Income
  • Lowest Median Family Income
  • Lowest Per Capita Income
  • Highest % of Population in Poverty
  • Highest % of Population in Poverty With Related Children Under 18 years
  • Highest % of Families in Poverty
  • Highest % of Housing Built Before 1970
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Largest Non-white Population Including Two or More Races
  • Highest Density Per Square Mile
  • Highest Housing Density Per Square Mile
  • Lead Poisoning (Children entering Kindergarten in 2003 B used when available)

Based on the priorities identified above, the following cities emerged as top consideration for potential activities and outreach in the state of Rhode Island:

  • Woonsocket
  • Pawtucket
  • Newport
  • East Providence
  • West Warwick
  • North Providence
  • Cranston
  • Coventry
  • Cumberland

The Urban Environmental Program obtains input from our internal and external partners to insure that our programs design and geographic focus continues to resonate with community needs, supports agency priorities, and achieves measurable environmental and public health improvements.  The UEP is committed to addressing the magnitude and complexity of urban environmental problems in a way that engages, informs, and responds to Rhode Island residents' needs.