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News Releases from Region 08

Environmental Justice Small Grants awarded to projects in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Browning, Mont.

Community-based projects to address radon, lead poisoning, and invasive species

Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (

DENVER - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced support for projects in Browning, Montana, Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah as part of nearly $1.2 million in competitive grants being awarded 36 local-based community and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice (EJ) issues in their communities. The grants enable organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop community-driven solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority, low-income and tribal communities.

The following awardees in EPA Region 8 will each receive $30,000. 

The Blackfeet Tribe (Browning, Montana)

Project Title: Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species in Blackfeet Waters

Contact: Gerald Wagner, 406-338-7421

The Blackfeet Nation will undertake a baseline monitoring study using eDNA testing techniques to evaluate invasive zebra and quagga mussels in Tribal waters.

Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart (Denver, Colorado)

Project Title: Building Community Capacity and Improving Indoor Air Quality

Contact: George Ware, 303-810-2274

The goal of this project is to raise awareness about radon and the need for home testing and to enhance community capacity to identify and address other environmental issues.

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Project Title: The UPHE Lead Safe Children Program: Creating a Safe Environment for Children Contact: Catherine Cawley, 385-707-3677

This project aims to create safe environments for children by educating communities and schools about the sources and health risks of lead poisoning, informing them about abatement programs, providing information to a Lead Education and Screening Coalition, and sharing information with communities.

EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) provide critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address the environmental challenges in their community.  The 2017 grants will help organizations in 30 states and Puerto Rico to carry out projects that will: educate residents about environmental issues that may impact their health; collect data about local environmental conditions; and work collaboratively to address environmental justice challenges in their communities.

The grants not only support activities that address a range of community concerns, but also activities that educate and empower youth and the next generation of leaders in STEM-related job sectors and environmental stewardship. Specific grant projects will focus on: reducing exposure to lead and other water pollutants; developing green infrastructure and sustainable agriculture projects; implementing basic energy efficiency measures in low-income households; and increasing overall community resiliency.

In an effort to increase outreach to affected communities in the United States and U.S. Territories, the 2017 EJSG program placed special emphasis on proposals from under-represented States that have been awarded three or fewer EJSGs over the last five years. Of the 36 total projects selected, 23 are from underrepresented states (64%). The agency will make final awards upon successful completion of the award application process.

For 2017 Environmental Justice Small Grant recipients and project descriptions:

 For more information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, including descriptions of previously funded grants: