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EPA Healthy Community Grant Will Help Protect Health in Rhode Island

Grants Address Children's Health Concerns including Asthma and Exposure to Lead

10/31/2018
Contact Information: 
John Senn (senn.john@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1019

BOSTON – A Rhode Island organization was awarded $25,000 by the US Environmental Protection Agency to fund a community project addressing environmental and public health issues. The project will reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities and residents of the state.

The Childhood Lead Action Project, which received the funding for its "Lead Safe Neighborhoods Program" is among the 16 projects across New England recently awarded a total of $387,861 through the 2018 Healthy Communities Grant Program.

"EPA is very pleased to be working with local community groups to address specific environmental concerns that are important to people in New England," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "Many of the projects being funded will help address concerns for children's health, such as this critical work to ensure children are not exposed to lead."

The Lead-Safe Neighborhoods Program will directly engage residents at high risk for lead poisoning in tenant rights/lead safety workshops, create a steering committee focused on evaluating tenant lead safety and providing recommendations to local housing code officials regarding community needs. It will hold trainings for landlords and workers on lead-safe work practices. Outreach to Spanish-speaking first-time home buyers and landlords will go hand-in-hand with tenant education, making sure that owners have the information they need to follow lead safety laws and keep families and tenants safe.

Through additional lead-safe trainings, Spanish-speaking contractors will receive education focused on keeping children safe from lead during renovations. This project will also increase community members' ability to safely address lead hazards themselves. This comprehensive approach will make at least 40 homes lead safe. Project partners include: RI Department of Health, Healthy Homes and Environment Team; ONE Neighborhood Builders; and the Refugee Dream Center.

Background

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. Contributing programs include Air Quality Outreach, Assistance & Pollution Prevention, Asthma and Indoor Air, Children's Environmental Health, Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Initiative, Toxics and Pesticides, Urban Environmental Program, and Water Infrastructure (Stormwater, Wastewater, and Drinking Water). The program has competitively selected projects that will: assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks; increase collaboration through community-based projects; build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems; advance emergency preparedness and resilience; and achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits in communities across New England.

The projects that have been awarded funding must meet several criteria including: (1) location in /or directly benefit one or more of the EPA's identified 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 EPA's identified Target Program Areas. In 2018, the Target Investment Areas included: Areas Needing to Create Community Resilience; Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern; and Sensitive Populations. Target Program Areas included: Clean, Green and Healthy Schools; Community and Water Infrastructure Resilience; Healthy Indoor Environments; and Healthy Outdoor Environments.

For more information about the Healthy Communities Grant Program and/or additional details about the projects, please visit https://www3.epa.gov/region1/eco/uep/hcgp.html.