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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Environmental Justice Grant Recipients in the Pacific Southwest - 2008-2009

2008-2009 Grant Recipients

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Center for Community Action & Environmental Justice Inland Valley (San Bernardino County), CA

The Center for community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) works with residents and neighborhood groups to educate, empower, and challenge residents to improve the natural environment and health of communities in California's Inland Valley. Every year, diesel powered trucks and locomotives carry millions of ocean freight containers through this region to and from the Los Angeles Ports, contributing the region's high levels of air pollution. Through a $20,000 EJ Small Grant, CCAEJ developed and maintains neighborhood assessment teams of promotoras—residents who are trained to gather and distribute information to educate their neighbors--about particulate pollution and its health affects. As a part of the project, CCAEJ also assembled scientific information about the effects of goods movement on Inland Valley air quality, which the organization will use will inform public policy decisions.

Communities for a Better Environment East Oakland's Hegenberger Corridor

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) was awarded an EJ Grant to conduct a mobile source emissions inventory of the Hegenberger Corridor to count diesel trucks that pass through the community. In July of 2009, CBE trained 20 volunteers and paid interns from Youth Uprising, the East Bay Academy of Young Scientists, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, and Tassafaronga Recreation Center to prepare them for truck counting. The youth and five adult community members then conducted truck counts on high and medium traffic intersections in East Oakland along the Hegenberger Corridor. CBE will analyze the data they gathered to a) begin to quantify the amount of mobile source pollution residents are exposed to; b) address the diesel truck routes in the area, and c) build local awareness and develop community-based structures to mobilize support for an inclusive planning process.

Committee for a Better Arvin, Arvin, CA

Arvin is located at the southern end of California's San Joaquin Valley, downwind of most of the Valley's air pollution sources. With possibly more ozone violations than any other city in the country (every four days), the Air District expects Arvin to be the last place in the Valley to attain the federal 8-hour ozone standard, in 2023. In addition, Arvin hosts a Superfund site, other waste sites, has arsenic-contaminated drinking water, proximity to pesticide applications, and other environmental health risks. Through a collaboration with U.S. EPA, the Committee for a Better Arvin works towards building capacity, engaging regulatory partners, and protecting the environment and public health in their community. The Committee for a Better Arvin used a $20,000 EJ Grant to increase community engagement and raise awareness about health impacts caused by these local environmental issues. By educating community residents, the Committee for a Better Arvin worked to build the community's capacity to address public health risks, and fostered a dialogue between residents and local land-use decision-makers to ensure the community's voices are heard.

Forgotten People CDC Navajo Nation

Due to its proximity to uranium mines and uranium-contaminated water sources, residents of the remote Navajo Nation community of Black Falls have lacked access to clean and safe drinking water for many years. With a $20,000 EJ Small grant, the non-profit organization Forgotten People is working to address these challenges and bring clean, safe water to isolated families. Forgotten People used the grant to identify families in the community that lack clean and safe drinking water, build capacity in the community to understand the dangers of drinking from contaminated sources, develop a plan to address the drinking water challenges, and build elevated cistern drinking water systems for 10 Black Falls families.

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