EPA announces 12 Healthy Communities Grants awarded across four New England states as part of Children’s Health Month
BOSTON – As part of its ongoing celebration of Children’s Health Month, this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing 12 Healthy Communities Grants awarded across four of its New England states; Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island totaling $372,286.
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.
"EPA is excited about these 12 grants to New England organizations to address important environmental health concerns in our local communities," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "We expect that these projects will make a positive difference protecting human health and the environment. EPA New England's Healthy Community Grants are a great example of how EPA can work closely with local organizations to advance public health protection."
Connecticut Children's – $25,000
The Connecticut Children's medical center will provide Hartford area school nurses with tools to help identify students who suffer from asthma and to provide those students with optimal care using best practices. The training consists of a five-element program that is available in both English and Spanish. The components include assessing asthma risk and control, effective asthma education, reviewing asthma medication, and working with primary medical care givers. A large component of the project focuses on training nurses on best practices for asthma intervention, particularly in school settings.
Center for EcoTechnology – $35,000
The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) and its project partners will be identifying wasted food generators, haulers, and processors in order to assist in reducing, donating, and composting as much wasted food as possible, resulting in environmental, public health, and cost-saving benefits through their project "Wasted Food Solutions New Haven County Phase II." Project partners will work with wasted food generators, including K–12 public and private schools generators and commercial generators such as event venues, healthcare facilities, colleges and universities, as well as hospitality facilities to implement source reduction strategies for wasted food, divert as much edible food to food donation and rescue as possible, and compost or anaerobically digest the remaining food that is unable to be donated.
Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation – $35,000
The Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation's (CSNDC) "Energy Retrofit Program" will use residential and small business outreach, education, assessments, and retrofits to improve energy use in their target geographic area. CSNDC aims to build upon their long-standing relationships with residents and small business owners in the area to ensure successful program outcomes. The proposed model for the CSNDC project is to: design multi-lingual informational materials, reach out to residents and small business owners and use their close partnerships with neighborhood associations and other community groups to circulate information, as well as host bi-lingual educational and outreach events. In order to host these outreach events CSNDC will work with their partner, All in Energy, to conduct three online awareness seminars for residents.
University of Massachusetts – Lowell – $35,000
The University of Massachusetts, Lowell's project, "Lean Manufacturing and Pollution Prevention in the Food and Beverage Sector," will provide a 16-week training program for employees from ten food and beverage manufacturing companies located in Massachusetts. The goal of the training is to implement lean manufacturing and pollution prevention projects at the participating companies. UMass Lowell will follow-up with students and their companies on this project to develop a case study and track environmental outcomes, including pounds of pollution prevented, gallons of water conserved, Kilowatt hours of energy reduced, and cost savings.
Clean Water Fund – $17,627
The Clean Water Fund project will provide education about lead exposure and knowledge on how to reduce exposure, engage residents working to improve environmental outcomes in their community, complete assessments in collaboration with municipalities and collaborate with local residents and partners to identify eligible customers in need of assistance, and reduce the presence of lead in drinking water.
Revitalize Community Development Corporation – $25,000
The Revitalize Community Development Corporation's "Holyoke Healthy Homes Pilot Project" will assess homes, complete necessary environmental triggers modifications to the home, and educate adults as well as families with children about sources of exposure that are specific to their home environment. This will be accomplished through health assessments conducted by a Healthy Homes Assessor and education on asthma triggers management by a Community Health Worker. The goal of this project is to serve at risk families as well as conduct in-depth home visits with follow ups in the Holyoke area of Massachusetts.
Lakes Regional Planning Commission – $34,659
The "Sustainable Collaborative Composting and Gardening" project by the Lakes Regional Planning Commission will provide training and assistance to help a group of New Hampshire-based summer camps further develop their camper-directed sustainable food systems program and expand its program into the community, specifically in Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro, New Hampshire (WoTu). The project will develop the food systems program at two collated Greater Boston YMCA summer camps, the North Woods Camp for Boys and Pleasant Valley Camp for Girls. The projects objectives are to provide the tools and resources to grow their target audience (campers and staff) knowledge about growing and eating healthy, organic foods while developing their understanding of the food system and the importance of closed-loop systems. In addition, the project will provide technical assistance to support EPA's Food Recovery Hierarchy model by reducing, diverting, and minimizing wasted food and as well as other recyclable commodities.
Keene State College – $25,000
The Keene State College project "Toward a self-regulating wood smoke pollution management system in Keene, New Hampshire using an air inversion prediction model, citizen science and social media" will utilize public outreach via social media and workshops, citizen science and student engagement with air monitoring and modeling to better understand and communicate the complex factors contributing to poor wintertime air quality in Keene, N.H., and incentivize public action to reduce wood burning during localized air inversions, leading to improved ambient air quality and public health.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management – $35,000
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has identified certain K–12 schools which do not meet the criteria of the Rhode Island Food Waste Ban. Pending legislation, R.I. House Bill No. 7507, would bring almost all school districts under the Food Waste Ban, except for a few rural schools who do not have the required number of students. Supplying Technical Assistance to implement EPA's Food Recovery Hierarchy now, will give schools a head start when this bill becomes law. When approached by the Rhode Island Schools Recycling Club (RISRC) with a comprehensive plan to increase food diversion in the schools, building off a proven track record, the Department agreed to a partnership. The Department's role will be an administrative authority and it will offer its contacts and technical assistance, as well as review applications for subawards to K–12 schools. The entirety of the award will be sub–awarded to the RISRC which was created in 2001 through a partnership with the R.I. Resource Recovery Corporation and the RIDEM to improve recycling, including food waste diversion, in Rhode Island schools.
Childhood Lead Action Project – $35,000
The "Blackstone Valley Compliance Project" seeks to reduce the incidence of childhood lead poisoning in Central Falls and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Childhood Lead Action Project will use this project to engage residents in actively working to improve environmental outcomes in their community, expand access to lead-safe rental housing, broaden awareness of lead safety resources for residents, increase compliance and knowledge of lead-safe work practices among those providing home renovation and repair services, and finally expand local systems to keep homes safe by working with partners to implement a lead certificate renewal reminder system.
Center for EcoTechnology Inc. – $35,000
The "Wasted Food Solutions Providence County Phase II" project is a collaborative project by the Center for EcoTechnology will identify and assist wasted food generators to prevent pollution and follow EPA's Food Recovery Hierarchy model: reduce, donate, and compost as much wasted food as possible, producing the environmental, public health, and cost-saving benefits associated with these actions. Implementation of this initiative will help Providence County, Rhode Island increase food donation and food waste diversion through technical assistance, resource development, and partnership facilitation. Wasted Food Solutions will reduce the quantity of wasted food entering the municipal solid waste stream by working with target wasted food generators, including in K–12 public and private schools, event venues, healthcare facilities, colleges and universities, hospitality facilities, and food rescue and donation organizations.
The Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New England's main competitive grant program to work directly with communities to support EPA's "Back-to-Basics" agenda to reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life. To qualify as eligible projects under the Healthy Communities Grant Program, proposed projects must: (1) be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the 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 Target Program Areas.
Multi-State (Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
Centro de Apoyo Familiar – $35,000
The Centro de Apoyo Familiar's (CAF) "Healthy Families: Healthy Homes" project will be managed and conducted in collaboration with seven CAF's Connectors churches from selected cities in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The project output includes delivering environmental health information on healthy homes, such as asthma awareness, that is accessible and useful to the target audience on the exposure factors in older homes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that may affect children's health. Project outcomes include raising awareness of environmental factors such as asthma triggers in the home that affect children's health as well as participant action to reduce exposures and/or seek outside services from community resources. The Healthy Families: Healthy Homes project offers an important and replicable model that will result in creating healthy homes by improving the indoor air condition and empowering the community with information and resources about environmental and/or public health issues through educational workshops in asthma and lead poisoning prevention at targeted neighborhoods in different cities across New England.
To learn more about the Healthy Communities Grant Program in Region 1:
To learn more about on children's environmental health research: https://www.epa.gov/children/childrens-environmental-health-research.
To learn more about what EPA is doing to protect children's health: https://www.epa.gov/children