Colorado organizations receive EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants
DENVER – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that four Colorado organizations will receive $30,000 each to address environmental justice issues in communities in the Denver area and in Routt and Moffat counties. The Colorado recipients are among 50 organizations across the nation receiving $1.5 million through EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program.
“Rural and disadvantaged communities are often disproportionately affected by environmental health risks, and at EPA we are working to reverse this trend,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These grants support the President’s initiatives to invest in and revitalize distressed communities. By supporting often overlooked, local organizations that understand the unique challenges that their communities face, we’re better able to put in place long-term solutions to improve the environment and health of underserved areas of the country.”
EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants program provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address environmental challenges in underserved and overburdened communities. The funding will help organizations in 27 states and Puerto Rico carry out projects that will:
- Educate residents about environmental issues that may impact their health.
- Collect data about local environmental conditions.
- Conduct demonstrations and trainings to shed light on those conditions.
- Work collaboratively to address environmental justice challenges in their communities.
2019 Environmental Justice Small Grants recipients in Colorado include:
- Groundwork Denver, Denver, Colo.
- Environmental Learning for Kids, Denver, Colo.
- Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Routt and Moffat Counties, Colo.
- Lincoln Hills Cares, Denver, Colo.
For descriptions of each of the 2019 Environmental Justice Small Grant awardees’ projects, visit https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program-project-descriptions-2019
The grants will enable these organizations to conduct research, provide education and training, and develop community-driven solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority, low-income, tribal, and rural communities. Sixteen of this year’s environmental justice grant projects are in communities that are especially vulnerable to disasters.
Specific grant projects include: 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.
Fifty percent of the grants selected will support communities with census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones – an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.
For the second year in a row, EPA’s Urban Waters program provided $300,000 in funding toward some of the grant awards. Ten grants were selected for to communities focused on improving water quality.
This year EPA received 208 applications, which is the highest number since 2013. The grant awards provide approximately $30,000 per project for a one-year project period.
For more information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, including descriptions of previously funded grants: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program