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EPA Healthy Community Grants Will Help Protect Health in Maine

Grants Address Children's Health Concerns including Asthma and Exposure to Lead

Contact Information: 
John Senn (
(617) 918-1019

BOSTON – A Maine organization was awarded $22,064 by the US Environmental Protection Agency to fund a community project addressing environmental and public health issues. The project will reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities and residents of the state.

The Environmental Health Strategy Center, which received the funding for its "Children's Health and Clean Water in Rural Maine" project is among the 16 projects across New England recently awarded a total of $387,861 through the 2018 Healthy Communities Grant Program.

"EPA is very pleased to be working with local community groups to address specific environmental concerns that are important to people in New England," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "Many of the projects being funded will help address concerns for children's health, such as this important project that will help identify if children in Maine are being exposed to lead in well water."

The Environmental Health Strategy Center is the only statewide organization in Maine entirely focused on the link between human health and toxic chemicals in the environment. Although little public data exists on the prevalence of lead in Maine well water, minor modifications to existing efforts to address arsenic can be expanded to include lead contamination. The project will develop a roadmap for expanding arsenic detection and prevention efforts to include lead and to raise awareness of other lead exposure pathways.

The project will bring together public health professionals, community organizations, water safety business leaders and individuals whose health is affected. This group and other key stakeholders will consider how to address lead contamination of drinking water and other sources in rural Maine. Research will summarize potential solutions from case studies in other states and will determine the potential for treatment options to address both lead and arsenic. Project partners include: Town halls, libraries, health centers, food pantries, and service providers.


EPA New England's Healthy Communities Grant Program combines resources from several EPA programs to strategically address the environmental and public health issues burdening New England communities. Contributing programs include Air Quality Outreach, Assistance & Pollution Prevention, Asthma and Indoor Air, Children's Environmental Health, Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Initiative, Toxics and Pesticides, Urban Environmental Program, and Water Infrastructure (Stormwater, Wastewater, and Drinking Water). The program has competitively selected projects that will: assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks; increase collaboration through community-based projects; build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems; advance emergency preparedness and resilience; and achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits in communities across New England.

The projects that have been awarded funding must meet several criteria including: (1) location in /or directly benefit one or more of the EPA's identified Target Investment Areas; and (2) identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the EPA's identified Target Program Areas. In 2018, the Target Investment Areas included: Areas Needing to Create Community Resilience; Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern; and Sensitive Populations. Target Program Areas included: Clean, Green and Healthy Schools; Community and Water Infrastructure Resilience; Healthy Indoor Environments; and Healthy Outdoor Environments.

For more information about the Healthy Communities Grant Program and/or additional details about the projects, please visit