Philadelphia Communities Awarded EPA Environmental Justice Grants

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Philadelphia Communities Awarded EPA Environmental Justice Grants

$90,000 in U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Grant money has been awarded to three low-income communities in Philadelphia.  The grants will help these communities develop solutions to local health and environmental problems.

The grants fall under the umbrella of the EPA’s “Environmental Justice Small Grants” program which began in 1994 and which aims to forward goals of environmental justice for all people. According to EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the grants will help “protect vulnerable communities in Philadelphia by equipping them with the know-how and tools to reduce air pollution, water pollution, and children’s exposure to lead.”

One $30,000 dollar grant was awarded to JASTECH Development Services, Inc. JASTECH will develop a community-based campaign to raise awareness and to address the presence of toxic substances in waterways in the Overbrook area of Philadelphia. According to the EPA, the program will use public outreach and community-based projects to minimize residents’ chance of exposure to contaminated water.  For example, the organization will hold workshops to teach residents about proper disposal of household chemicals, and it will hold workshops to teach residents “how to engage community leaders to participate in policy and decision making processes.”

The Clean Air Council also received a $30,000 grant.  It will use the grant to address issues of poor air-quality in the Port Richmond neighborhood. Residents of Port Richmond are “disproportionately impacted by high levels of air pollution caused by a high volume of truck traffic, which can worsen asthma and other respiratory illnesses.”  The Clean Air Council will organize workshops for residents to participate in the process of developing policy-based solutions to reduce exposure to air pollution caused by proximity to factories, pollution emitting vessels, and heavy traffic from I-95.

The third $30,000 grant was awarded to the Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations of Philadelphia. It will be used to develop educational materials for Philadelphia’s Spanish-speaking communities about fire safety, reducing children’s exposure to lead, preventing lead poisoning, and preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.

For more information regarding these and other EPA Environmental Justice grants, please follow this link.


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