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EPA awards $120,000 to Huron Pines to help Michigan communities address environmental, public health risks

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (
312-886-7613, 312-898-2042 cell

For Immediate Release   No. 18-OPA57

CHICAGO (October 4, 2018) -U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Huron Pines, an environmental advocacy organization based in Gaylord, Mich., will receive $120,000 to address environmental justice (EJ) issues in Michigan communities. EPA provided a total of $1.2 million nationwide for cooperative agreements with 10 organizations. The projects selected this year reflect an emphasis on support for rural communities and watershed protection.

“Many rural and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental health risks, such as lead exposure or unsafe drinking water,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA is committed to supporting local partnerships that will improve the environment and health of these underserved communities.”

Huron Pines will collaborate with the City of Au Gres, Au Gres-Sims School District, City of Tawas, City of East Tawas, the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, the City of Rogers City, Saginaw Bay and the Watershed Initiative Network, Bay Area Community Foundation, to identify environmental degradation caused by stormwater runoff. Funding will be used for strategic planning to protect water quality, and to create a green infrastructure curriculum for the area.

The 2018 awards provide up to $120,000 per project for a two-year project period. Special consideration this year was given to projects located in rural areas, with the goal of increasing outreach and community capacity building in areas where such resources can be particularly scarce. Eight of the ten total projects awarded are in rural areas.

For the first time, EPA’s Urban Waters program provided funding for projects, sponsoring work in two communities. By adopting a watershed approach, these projects will help improve the quality of local waterways and strengthen community connections to them. 

The funding is provided through EPA's Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) program, which supports local organizations in their efforts to develop and implement community-driven solutions that address environmental and public health disparities in minority, low-income, tribal and indigenous populations. The ten community projects were selected from 72 applications.

For more information about the 2018 EJ CPS projects:

For more information on the EJ Collaborative Problem-Solving Program, including descriptions of previously funded projects: