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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

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

Environmental Justice (EJ) - Grants

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EPA offers a wide spectrum of grant programs that are designed to help communities build capacity to address local environmental health risks. In addition to the community-based funding sources that are available to address specific environmental health concerns, such as asthma, indoor air quality, lead exposure, or cleaning up contaminated land, Environmental Justice Small Grants and Community Action for a Renewed Environment Grants offer communities a three-tiered approach to address local environmental concerns. Furthermore, EPA developed the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement program to promote environmental justice in State activities, as well as promote collaborative problem solving to address environmental and public health issues in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks.

Environmental Justice Small Grants

With an Environmental Justice Small Grant, a community organization can begin to build their organization's membership base and engage partners by focusing on a discrete, short-term project. In 2010, EPA awarded $1.9 million in environmental justice grants to 76 non-profit organizations and local governments working on environmental justice issues nationwide, including 10 projects in the Pacific Southwest Region. The grants are designed to help communities understand and address environmental challenges and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships focused on improving human health and the environment at the local level. The grant program supports EPA’s priority to expand the conversation on environmentalism and work for environmental justice.

Small Grant Success Stories

Community Action for a Renewed Environment Grants

The more structured CARE Level I Grant prescribes a roadmap for communities to build a coalition of stakeholders, including representatives from nonprofit organizations, residents, government, and business, who will identify and prioritize the community's environmental health needs. Many CARE Level I grant recipients go on to apply for a CARE Level II Grant , which focuses on taking action to address the highest priority environmental health concerns identified during the prioritization process, and in turn becoming a self-sustaining collaborative.

Recent Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Grants:

2009 CARE Grant Recipient

Environmental Health Coalition (EHC)
San Diego, Calif.

2008 CARE Grant Recipient

Pacific American Foundation (PAF)
Wai’anaee Coast, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

Bay Point Latino Environmental Action Project
Martinez, Calif.

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2007 CARE Grant Recipients

Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (Lead Organization)
Gila River Indian Community, Ariz.

Pacoima Beautiful
Pacoima, Calif.

State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement

The California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is one of five state government agencies nationwide to receive a 2009 State EJ Cooperative Agreement to support projects that use collaborative problem solving to address environmental and public health issues. Their project focuses on two three densely populated, low-income, primarily Latino communities in the heart of Los Angeles County: Maywood, Wilmington, and a third community to be identified. DTSC is engaging with community-based partnerships in the cities to connect people who live closest to the environmental and public health problems with local, state, and federal regulators and agencies. The partnerships will hold workshops in their communities and collaboratively identify and implement environmental and public health solutions.

The work funded through this Cooperative Agreement forms the basis of the LA Enforcement Collaborative, a community and agency partnership to coordinate environmental pollution mitigation activities, including inspections, compliance assistance and enforcement guided by community-based ground-truthing, or "spotting” sources of environmental pollution. Through this Cooperative Agreement, DTSC and their community partners will create sustainable solutions to improve the health of communities and the environments in and around schools.

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