HONOLULU, HAWAII – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a $24,974 grant to the Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services for a community-wide campaign to mitigate the causes of indoor air pollution and reduce exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals at Kuhio Park Terrace in Honolulu.

“Community-based action and participation in environmental decision-making are critical to building healthy and sustainable communities,” said Lisa Garcia, EPA’s senior advisor to the administrator for environmental justice. “By supporting local environmental justice projects in under-served communities, we are expanding the conversation on environmentalism and advancing environmental justice in communities across the nation.”

Kokua Kaliha Valley Comprehensive Family Services will involve the community in a campaign to mitigate the causes of indoor air pollution, reduce exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals, and address public health issues resulting from poor sanitation within the Kuhio Park terrace public housing community. The project’s goal is to empower the predominantly Pacific Islander community of Kuhio Park Terrace by providing residents with necessary information and tools to take ownership of their physical surroundings and thereby improve the health of their families and community.

This year, EPA awarded more than $1 million in grants to 46 non-profit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. EPA also announced it is seeking applicants for $1 million in environmental justice small grants expected to be awarded in 2012. EPA’s environmental justice efforts aim to ensure equal environmental and health protections for all Americans, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. The grants enable non-profit organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in communities overburdened by harmful pollution.

The 2012 grant solicitation is now open and will close on February 29, 2012. Applicants must be incorporated non-profits or tribal organizations working to educate, empower and enable their communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues. EPA will host four pre-application teleconference calls on December 15, 2011, January 12, 2012, February 1, 2012 and February 15, 2012 to help applicants understand the requirements.

Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, the environmental justice small grants program has provided more than $23 million in funding to community-based nonprofit organizations and local governments working to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,200 communities. The grants represent EPA’s commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and advance environmental justice in communities across the nation.

More information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants program and a list of grantees:
http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html

Environment Justice Small Grants 2012 Request for Proposals and schedule of pre-application teleconference calls:
http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/ej-smgrants-rfp-2012.pdf

 

News submitted by EPA

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