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U.S. EPA Awards $100,000 to Harambee House to Reduce Pollution in two Savannah Neighborhoods

Release Date: 04/11/2007
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293,

(Atlanta, Ga. – April 11, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded $100,000 to Harambee House, a nonprofit organization in Savannah, Ga., for continuing work to help the Hudson Hill and Woodville neighborhoods understand and reduce local pollution.

The award is part of EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program which supports communities in creating and using collaborative partnerships to reduce exposure to pollution through voluntary risk reduction activities. Since the program was established two years ago, CARE has provided a total of $4.35 million to 29 communities nationwide. The Savannah CARE project is one of three funded in the southeast.

“We are pleased to be able to work with Harambee House and the residents of the Woodville and Hudson Hill neighborhoods on their Community Action for a Renewed Environment project,” said Russ Wright, EPA Region 4 Acting Deputy Regional Administrator. “Through this project, the EPA is helping these overburdened communities address their local environmental challenges by helping them understand and reduce toxic risks.”

Through the grant, Harambee House will hire community outreach workers in each of the impacted neighborhoods. Harambee House will conduct training that will build community capacity to identify and understand environmental and health risks. The partners will then prioritize the risks of greatest concern and develop an action plan to reduce them.

“The CARE project builds on two years of work in Hudson Hill by allowing us to bring in the smaller neighboring community of Woodville to work together on a tangible outcome that will advance the quality of peoples lives,” said Dr. Mildred McClain, executive director of Harambee House. “Through the resources that the EPA has provided, the residents can move from communities of concern to communities of action.”

The CARE project builds on an Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving grant that Harambee House received from EPA in 2004. Working with Hudson Hill, Harambee House documented community history and health concerns in partnership with the local health department, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Savannah State University and the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority. Harambee House will utilize the model developed with Hudson Hill to expand its work to Woodville since both neighborhoods are impacted by pollution from industrial facilities that border them.

“The residents of Woodville are looking forward to collaborating with political leaders and industries on this project,” said Tyrone Ware, President of the Woodville Neighborhood Association. “For a long time, this area was undesirable, but in recent years a lot of industries have cleaned up their act, and this grant will enhance those efforts and make our community a better place to live.”

Established in 2005, the EPA CARE program is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for communities to take action to reduce toxic pollution from numerous sources. Through CARE, communities create local collaborative partnerships that implement local solutions to reduce releases of and minimize exposure to toxic pollutants.

Visit the CARE website at to learn more about the program.