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2010 Environmental Justice Small Grants – An Overview

Apr 05 2011 Small Grants Program | Comments Off on 2010 Environmental Justice Small Grants – An Overview

In 2010 ECOS, through the U.S. EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory Program (EPA TRI), focused its outreach efforts on assisting the Environmental Justice (EJ) community. ECOS raised awareness of EJ-TRI related issues through a small grants program. As such, ECOS awarded three grants under its current five-year TRI Cooperative Agreement with U.S. EPA. These grants supported EJ efforts as they relate to TRI, with particular emphasis on addressing local environmental issues in communities around the United States. Each of these three grantees presented their findings at the 2010 National Training Conference on the TRI and Environmental Conditions in Communities and their power point presentations are provided below, as well as some useful documents produced under their grants.

Literacy for Environmental JusticeLiteracy for Environmental Justice (LEJ)

– Literacy for Environmental Justice an environmental education and youth empowerment organization, was created to address the ecological and health concerns of communities of southeast San Francisco. LEJ’s Youth With A Plan program positions young people to take leadership roles in understanding and responding to the land use decisions of today. Under this grant this group learned how to access the TRI database and used this data to contribute to the public review process of the San Francisco Public Utility Commissions Sewer System Draft Master Plan. They also created a pamphlet specifically for communities unaware of TRI. The pamphlet describes the justification for the TRI database, how to access it, and walks users through a simple zip code search.

World Resources InstituteWorld Resources Institute (WRI) – World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think tank, identified key barriers to accessing information from TRI for individuals and groups within the EJ community. This effort was completed under WRI’s Access Initiative, which seeks to expand information availability, public participation, and access to justice in matters affecting the environment. As part of this grant, WRI developed policy goals for an integrated approach to better serving EJ communities. WRI’s findings and recommendations are highlighted in the latest edition of the ECOS Green Report.

Louisiana Bucket BrigadeLouisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) – Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) is an environmental health and justice organization working with communities that neighbor the state’s oil refineries, chemical plants and other industrial sites. In 2007 the organization began a program called the Refinery Efficiency Initiative. The program works with neighbors of the state’s 17 oil refineries. Under this grant, LABB incorporated information about TRI into this program. An important part of this project was their collaboration WRI. Staff member from WRI were on hand to observe its methods as they presented TRI data to community members. Their techniques and approaches to dissemination of this data were analyzed by WRI with a goal of developing a method for how people understand and use the data.