Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


Duke University Among Winners of EPA’s First Annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards

Release Date: 10/21/2008
Contact Information: Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293,

(ATLANTA – Oct. 21, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Duke University in Durham, N.C., is among 12 winners of its first annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards during an award ceremony today in Atlanta. The awards recognize organizations for their distinguished accomplishments in addressing environmental justice issues, ranging from reducing children’s pesticide exposure in childcare facilities to helping hurricane-displaced communities address environmental contamination so they could return home.

"We all have a stake in ensuring that our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our land is better protected," said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "These organizations are making a positive impact in their communities by promoting a clean and healthy environment for all people."

Duke University’s Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) was recognized for leadership in lead poisoning prevention. Among its accomplishments, CEHI identified the 6300 highest priority housing units for lead hazard mitigation in Durham, most of which are concentrated in low-income and minority neighborhoods. CEHI helped target resources, like water testing services for lead and home surveillance visits for children with low-level exposure, in these neighborhoods. By combining technical resources and collaborating with diverse stakeholders, Duke University has established effective intervention programs that result in the protection of children before they become sick.

Other award recipients include representatives from community-based organizations; academic institutions; state and local governments; tribal governments and indigenous organizations; and non-governmental organizations and environmental groups.

The following organizations also received awards:

Anahola Homesteaders Council (Anahola, Kauai, HI)
Center for Environmental and Economic Justice (Biloxi, MS)
Citizens for Environmental Justice (Savannah, GA)
Communities for a Better Environment (Huntington Park, CA)
Dillard University, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (New Orleans, LA)
Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
Negocio Verde Environmental Justice Task Force (County of San Diego, CA)
New Mexico Environment Department (Santa Fe, NM)
Safer Pest Control Project (Chicago, IL)
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (Columbia, SC)
West End Revitalization Association (Mebane, NC)

Information on the EJ Achievement Award Program, including more details about this year's recipients:

Photo caption: Charles Lee (front, left), Director, EPA Office of Environmental Justice, with award recipient Marie Lynn Miranda (center) and community partners.