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EPA to Provide Building Blocks Assistance to Fort Pierce, Florida

08/14/2020
Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (region4press@epa.gov)
404-562-9203, 404-562-8400

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (August 14, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced United Against Poverty in Fort Pierce will receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.

The community workshop will provide the city with ideas for changing local policies and procedures to ensure equitable development, improve the economy, the environment and quality of life. The workshop is designed to support communities in developing strategies for expanded employment opportunities and business markets, and offer expanded choices for how residents can live, work, and play.

“EPA maintains its commitment to improving the quality of life and protecting human health through partnerships with community-focused organizations,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “This program provides not only tools but a pathway towards additional resources designed specifically to stimulate and strengthen communities.”

“We are very excited about this new opportunity and partnership and are looking forward to continuing our mission of serving those in poverty by providing crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers,” said United Against Poverty Chief Executive Officer Gwendolyn Butson. “We are dedicated to continuing our mission of lifting people out of poverty!”

This year, EPA has selected 12 communities to receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected communities using a variety of results-based tools. These tools stimulate discussions about growth and development and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches.

 Fort Pierce is a community with Opportunity Zones. Qualified Opportunity Zones are census tracts of low-income and distressed communities designated by state governors and certified by the Department of Treasury. These are areas where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. EPA, through grant funding, cleanups and technical assistance, works to alleviate these problems to improve environmental and public health outcomes.

 As of April 2019, there were more than 8,700 designated Qualified Opportunity Zones located in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five United States territories. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

 For more information on Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/building-blocks-sustainable-communities

 For more information on Opportunity Zones, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/opportunity-zones


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