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EPA Offering $2 Million in Community Grants

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking proposals for about $2 million in grants it will dole out this year to communities that want to undertake pollution control measures, the website EP Online, a subsidiary of B-to-B publisher 1105 Media Inc., reported on Feb. 1.

The grants come through the EPA program Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE), which helps groups educate the public on how to understand and reduce toxic risks from pollution and other sources.

CARE accepts applications from federally recognized Indian tribal governments and Native American organizations, among other entities that include local governments, nonprofit organizations and universities. A tribal reservation would be considered a community, the EPA said in its request for proposals.

In 2008, one such project was Community Action for a Healthy Environment, on the Navajo Nation in? Shiprock, New Mexico. A mix of Native American and African Americans live on the reserve, which received a grant to create an effective, long-term partnership that would improve the environmental quality of the Shiprock community, the EPA said on its CARE site. According to the EPA, 38 percent of Shiprock families and 39 percent of the population live below the poverty line.

Several Native groups were partners in this endeavor, including the Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Department, the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources, Navajo Environmental Protection Administration, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, Navajo Abandoned Mines Reclamation Department, and the U.S. Public Health Service–Indian Health Services Office of Environmental Health and Engineering.

“The environmental and public health issues affecting the Shiprock community include coal-fired power plants, gas and oil well operations, uranium mining, and illegal dumping,” the EPA said on its CARE website. “All of the stated sources of exposure pose environmental hazards affecting the quality of the air, water, and soil.”

The Wind River Environmental Justice Project, in Ethete, Wyoming, is working with the Wind River Alliance, a cultural and community organization on the Wind River Indian Reservation to help residents recognize and mitigate the environmental impacts of various activities.

Deadline for this year’s applications is March 22.

More information on the CARE program is here.

More information on past grants is available here.