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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Awards $120,000 to Athens Land Trust to Address Community Environmental Justice Issues

10/04/2018
Contact Information: 
Dawn Harris-Young (harris-young.dawn@epa.gov)
(404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA (October 4, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $120,000 cooperative agreement award to the Athens Land Trust to address environmental justice (EJ) issues in their community.

Athens Land Trust will monitor disproportionate air and water quality hazards experienced by two historically African American neighborhoods, and support environmental education initiatives to help residents understand the hazards and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their families from potential impacts.

“Many rural and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental health risks, such as lead exposure or unsafe drinking water,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA is committed to supporting local partnerships that will improve the environment and health of these underserved communities.”

“EPA is proud to support this community-led project that will help address environmental needs in the Athens area,” said Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn.Grants like these advance the important work that creates a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment.”

Nationally, EPA announced $1.2 million in cooperative agreements awarded to 10 organizations. The funding is provided through EPA's Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) program, which supports local organizations in their efforts to develop and implement community-driven solutions that address environmental and public health disparities in minority, low-income, tribal and indigenous populations. Projects selected this year reflect an emphasis on support for rural communities and watershed protection.

The 2018 awards provide up to $120,000 per project for a two-year project period. Special consideration this year was given to projects located in rural areas, with the goal of increasing outreach and community capacity building in areas where such resources can be particularly scarce. Eight of the ten total projects awarded are in rural areas.

For the first time, EPA’s Urban Waters program provided funding for projects, sponsoring work in two communities. By adopting a watershed approach, these projects will help improve the quality of local waterways and strengthen community connections to them.

The 10 community projects were selected from 72 applications. For more information about the 2018 EJ CPS projects: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-collaborative-problem-solving-cooperative-agreement-3

For more information on the EJ Collaborative Problem-Solving Program, including descriptions of previously funded projects: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-justice/environmental-justice-collaborative-problem-solving-cooperative-agreement-0