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EPA awards environmental justice grants to communities and tribes in Alaska, Oregon and Washington

Funding aims to empower underserved communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues

11/05/2019
Contact Information: 
Suzanne Skadowski (skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov)
206-553-2160

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award Environmental Justice grants to the Seldovia Village Tribe, in Alaska, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and Voz Workers Rights Education Project, in Oregon, and the Methow Valley Citizens Council, in Washington. In addition, EPA will award an Urban Waters Restoration Environmental Justice grant to Forterra Northwest, in Washington.

EPA's Environmental Justice program provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address environmental challenges in underserved and overburdened communities. By providing financial assistance and technical guidance throughout the projects, EPA assists those who are the most vulnerable in taking some of the initial steps in understanding, addressing, and developing solutions to local environmental and public health issues.

Environmental Justice grants of $30,000 were awarded to:

Seldovia Village Tribe, Seldovia, Alaska – The “You Survived a Natural Disaster, Now Grab Your EPB” project will help the residents of Seldovia Village and the City of Seldovia learn how to prepare for potential natural disasters such as earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions. The project focuses on the effects natural disasters can have on community drinking water and waste management systems. 

Voz Workers Rights Education Project, Portland, Oregon – The “Growing Green Leaders” project aims to improve environmental, health, and economic outcomes for day laborers. The project will provide safety trainings to identify and avoid workplace toxics, provide green jobs skills training to reduce exposure to toxics and promote a healthier environment. This project is part of a larger community effort, the Portland Clean Energy Initiative, to increase communities of color’s access to environmental projects and green jobs.

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, Oregon – The “Farmworker Self-advocacy and Support” project aims to educate and empower farmworkers and their families in Benton and Lane counties to better protect themselves from the harmful effects of pesticides, mitigate their pesticide exposure, develop resources for continued self-advocacy and support the health of farmworker communities. 

Methow Valley Citizens Council, Okanogan County, Washington – The "Developing Wildfire Smoke Resilience” project aims to show out how a community-based air monitoring network can be used to promote air quality awareness and behavioral changes to protect public health during prolonged wildfire smoke episodes in north-central Washington. The results could lead to the creation of a Clean Air Ambassador program to help develop wildfire smoke resiliency among communities in Mazama, Winthrop, Twisp, Carlton, Methow and Pateros.

EPA’s Urban Waters Restoration program also provides funding for environmental justice projects in communities dealing with clean water issues. The Urban Waters program aims to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by funding support for local partnerships that focus on improving water quality and watersheds. 

An Urban Waters Restoration Environmental Justice grant of $30,000 was awarded to:

Forterra Northwest, Renton and Kent, Washington – The “Springbrook Creek: Training the Next Generation of Water Quality Advocates” project will focus on creating forested buffers along Springbrook Creek to reduce stormwater influx, improve habitat, water and air quality in a polluted urban creek flowing through Kent and Renton. Youth will get hands-on experience in community outreach, restoration planning, habitat restoration and an introduction to multi-jurisdiction watershed management.

More information on all 2019 Environmental Justice grant projects: www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program-project-descriptions-201

Learn about EPA’s Environmental Justice Program: www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice

More information on EPA’s Urban Waters Restoration Program: www.epa.gov/urbanwaters

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Northwest Region 10: www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-10-pacific-northwest

Follow EPA Region on Twitter: @EPAnorthwest and Facebook: @eparegion10