ATLANTA – September 18, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a competitive cooperative agreement with the Greensboro Housing Coalition (GHC) to reduce housing-related asthma hospitalizations in low-income, minority neighborhoods in Greensboro, North Carolina resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals. The agreement is one of 12 EPA has reached with community-based organizations nationwide, totaling about $1.4 million in funding, under this initiative.
“These cooperative agreements empower communities to implement environmental protection projects locally,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “With these agreements, EPA advances our commitment to communities by providing financial and technical assistance to take action against environmental harm.”
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding for non-profit and tribal organizations to partner with stakeholders from across industry, government, and academia to develop and implement solutions that significantly address environmental and/or public health issues in American communities.
Through its “Healthy Homes Greensboro”, the GHC will create a comprehensive plan for healthy homes and advocate together for multi-level policy changes. The plan will include the enforcement and strengthening of current policies and regulations, funding for community education initiatives, and working with local government to address gaps in healthcare. The Coalition and its partners will also identify at-risk families residing in substandard housing, repair homes with mold damage, enforce housing safety standards, and provide Integrated Pest Management solutions to residents to address and eliminate the misuse of pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
In 2003, EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) launched the first solicitation for the EJCPS Cooperative Agreement Program. Since the Program’s inception, EPA has provided funding to 50 projects to help communities understand and address exposure to environmental harms and risks. Each of this year’s recipients are awarded up to $120,000 to support two-year projects, including identifying and reducing sources of air pollution, reducing lead exposure in homes of low-income residents, and the cleanup and repurposing of community dump sites. Projects must use the Collaborative Problem Solving model, comprised of seven elements of a successful collaborative partnership, to address local environmental and/or public health issues.
Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. These awards represent EPA’s commitment to promoting localized, community-based actions to address environmental justice issues.
Please visit http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/cps-project-abstracts-2014.pdf for a complete listing of the 2014 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement recipients and project descriptions.
In the fall of 2014, EPA plans to release a Request for Applications for the fiscal year 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. A schedule of pre-application teleconference calls will be announced at that time.
More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-cps-grants.html