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Smart Growth

Making a Visible Difference in Communities

Environmental and public health impacts affect people most significantly where they live – at the community level. EPA is focused on providing better support to communities, especially in environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed areas where the needs are greatest. See a list of the communities.

  • Learn more about EPA’s commitment to making a visible difference in communities.
    Making a Visible Difference in Communities is a strategic priority for EPA. While the agency’s work supports environmental and public health improvements in thousands of communities, we are looking for new ways to assist those communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution, economic distress and related challenges.

    In 2015, we identified more than 50 environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities for more focused and coordinated action. This involves listening to community leaders and residents to understand their needs and then working with local, state and other federal partners to leverage our collective resources more efficiently and effectively in support of local goals. Along with helping these communities improve environmental conditions, economic opportunity and quality of life, lessons learned through this work will be used to improve the support we provide to all communities in the future.

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