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EPA Grant will help Berkshire County Residents with Energy Efficiency and Air Quality

Contact Information: 
Emily Bender (

BOSTON - A project that works to reduce respiratory health problems for residents in northern Berkshire County of Massachusetts through energy efficiency improvements, has received $25,000 from a US Environmental Protection Agency program that addresses environmental issues affecting public health.

The North Berkshire Healthy Homes Initiative, designed by the Center for EcoTechnology, will demonstrate the connection between improved energy efficiency and improved respiratory health in vulnerable households, specifically those who have visited emergency rooms or been hospitalized multiple times in the last year for asthma or other respiratory illness.

Recent findings indicate that energy efficiency improvements that create warmer homes also reduce fine particulate matter and air pollutants through improved ventilation and heating systems also reduce potential asthma and "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease" (COPD) triggers.

This project will provide education and technical assistance to help deliver energy efficiency services and health-focused home repairs aimed at improving energy and health outcomes. The grant was awarded by EPA's New England office through the Healthy Communities Grant Program, whose aim is to support projects that reduce environmental risk, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities across New England.

The Healthy Communities Grant Program, initiated in 2003, combines resources from 10 programs to more strategically address environmental issues affecting public health. The grant program identifies top quality community-based projects that will achieve measurable environmental and human health improvements in communities across New England.

Healthy Communities Grants are targeted to environmental justice areas of potential concern, places with high risks from toxic air pollution, sensitive populations, and/or urban areas. The broad areas intended to be addressed include: assistance & pollution prevention: schools; asthma; children's environmental health; community air toxics; pesticides; smart growth; Tools for Schools indoor air quality program; toxics; and the Urban Environmental Program.

For more information about EPA's New England Healthy Communities Grant Program (