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Two Philadelphia Organizations Receive Funding to Support Environmental Justice Projects

06/30/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Region 3 Press Office (R3press@epa.gov)

PHILADELPHIA (June 30, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that two Philadelphia organizations – the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society – are among 12 groups nationwide receiving $30,000 each to help address environmental justice issues in their communities.

“EPA works day in and day out to provide clean air, water and land, with a particular focus on environmental justice,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These grants support the Trump Administration’s promise to provide critical investment in low-income and minority communities that have environmental justice concerns.”

The organizations announced today were selected from the large pool of applicants in 2019. This funding is in addition to 50 organizations awarded $1.5 million in grants nationwide in November 2019

“It’s invigorating for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region to provide this funding to two Philadelphia groups that have shown a commitment to addressing environmental justice issues in city neighborhoods,” said EPA’s mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “These groups developed projects that will improve and protect the health and safety of Philadelphia families.”

The Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia will use the funds to educate 40 families in low income neighborhoods that have a high levels of home lead contamination about how to live safely with lead.  The project will include a lead audit of their homes and education on how to contain the lead so it minimizes health risks.  

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will use funding to address environmental issues in the Tioga and Nicetown neighborhoods in Philadelphia by working with neighborhood leaders and stakeholders on a year-long program of community engagement and education that will foster discussion on environmental justice concerns. The project will include regular meetings and workshops to inspire residents to commit to greening and cleaning efforts in their neighborhoods. 

Environmental Justice Small Grants enable organizations to conduct research, provide education and training, and develop community-driven solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority, low-income, tribal and rural communities. The grants program provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address environmental challenges in underserved and overburdened communities.

Seven of the 12 grants selected, or almost 60%, will support communities with census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones – an economically-distressed community where new investment may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Most often, those who reside near these sites are low-income, minority, and disadvantaged Americans. By focusing resources on these areas, we can multiply the impact of the tax incentive and attract even more economic development to these areas.

This month, as part of its 50th anniversary commemoration, EPA is highlighting some of the key state, tribal, international, non-profit, and private sector partnerships that have helped our nation further its progress toward cleaner air, water, and land. As one example, EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice coordinates with multiple partners that include federal and local government, business and industry, and academia to help improve environmental and public health conditions of low-income and minority communities.

For more information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, including descriptions of previously funded grants: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program

For more information on additional winners, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program

For more information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, including descriptions of previously funded grants: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program

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