EPA awards $335,000 for pollution prevention and sustainability projects in Pacific Northwest communities
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 office in Seattle announced the first round of its Healthy, Resilient and Sustainable Communities grant projects. The $335,000 grant program will support seven local pollution prevention and sustainability projects aimed at making communities safer, healthier and more resilient.
“We are very pleased to announce this first round of regional grants,” said Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Region 10 Administrator. “These initial projects showcase a creativity and commitment to pollution prevention and sustainability that will make a lasting difference at the local level. Congratulations to the selected projects!”
“We are elated to receive this grant and continue the pollution prevention and sustainable food management we have been doing since 2016,” said Julie D'Agostino, founder and Executive Director of Rolling Tomato, one of this year’s awardees focused on food waste. Rolling Tomato expects the funding will not only help them for this year, but next year as well. “We will expand our operations both geographically and by volume, saving so much food from becoming waste. Over the next two years we will provide quality nourishment to our partner organizations all around our community.”
For Jackie Kirouac-Fram, Executive Director of Our United Villages (ReBuilding Center), the grant will allow the organization to expand its reach. ReBuilding Center seeks to provide salvaged building materials to those in need, but it has been difficult to engage those who can donate, and to find the resources to be able to donate to people directly. “Support from the EPA will make both of these goals possible, and the success of this project will provide a replicable model for public-nonprofit partnerships in solid waste management and anti-displacement efforts,” said Kirouac-Fram.
EPA awarded a total of $335,916 to support the following seven selected projects in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Project funding ranged from $30,000 to $60,000 for a two-year funding period. The awardees are expected to kick off their projects this fall.
Our United Villages (ReBuilding Center) will provide affordable and accessible salvaged building materials to the public and supply free salvaged building materials, with a focus on supplying homeowners in the Portland, Oregon area with building code violations, but who can’t afford the necessary repairs.
Ecology Action’s Grocery Challenge will incentivize pollution prevention practices in grocery stores in the Pacific Northwest. The challenge competition’s goal is to increase access to and the sale of Safer Choice certified chemical products through employee and shopper education, targeting communities disproportionately affected in their access to safer products.
Pollution Prevention Resource Center will develop a program to guide businesses in Oregon and Washington through EPA's Safer Choice labeling program. The project will provide small businesses assistance in certifying products under the EPA Safer Choice label and offer rebates to businesses to offset the cost of Safer Choice certification.
South King County Tool Library will support and promote its community tool library services which include tool loans, reuse and repair of products and materials, and provides pollution prevention outreach and education in King County, Washington.
Kalispel Indian Community will divert food waste from the tribally-owned restaurant to a local pork farm that will raise pork to be served at the tribal casino, which will advance the local food system and prevent food waste within the Kalispel Tribe’s lands in Washington state.
Rolling Tomato will work to reduce food waste and increase access to food for food-insecure communities in the Boise, Idaho area through food recovery and redistribution in the local community. The project will help partner organizations in the Boise area provide food for their communities for the next two years.
Portland State University will work to reduce food waste through implementation of a pilot program to rescue and distribute city tree fruit to low-income, multifamily properties in historically disadvantaged areas of Portland, Oregon.
Pollution prevention is any practice that reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment before recycling, treatment, or disposal. Sustainable materials management is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. It represents a change in how our society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection. For more information on Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Materials Management, visit https://www.epa.gov/p2 and https://www.epa.gov/smm.