Delaware Congressional Delegation Highlights Delaware Recipients of 2012 Environmental Justice Small Grants

WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney (all D-Del.) highlighted the Delaware winners of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2012 Environmental Justice Small Grants. The competitive grants, announced by the EPA this morning, were awarded to the Clean Air Council and the Southeastern Rural Community Assistance Project, both located in Delaware, as well as 48 other non-profit and tribal organizations throughout the United States working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. The Natural Lands Trust, located in Pennsylvania, which does work in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey to benefit the Delaware Estuary, is also among this year’s winners. The EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants enable non-profit organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in low-income communities overburdened by harmful pollution.  

“Protecting and improving the air we breathe and the water we drink is a critical effort at local, state and federal levels,” said Sen. Carper. “But in these challenging economic times, many communities can’t afford to make the proper investments in projects that help protect the health of families up and down the First State. Through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Small Grants, these two Delaware organizations can now move forward with their work addressing the environmental challenges impacting Delawareans, ultimately improving our environment, protecting public health and expanding communities’ economic opportunities.”

“Having clean air, waterways and natural resources helps protect the health of our communities and keeps our ecosystem in balance,” said Sen. Coons. “It’s important that we invest in conserving our environment so future generations can enjoy Delaware’s abundant natural resources. These environmental justice grants will allow for the implementation of programs and research to protect the health and vitality of the First State.”

“There’s nothing more important to the health of our community than ensuring that the air we breathe and the water we drink is clean and safe,” said Congressman Carney.  “These Environmental Justice Grants will provide needed resources to local organizations focused on improving Delaware’s air and water quality, educating Delawareans about potential risks in the environment, and maintaining healthy communities.  It’s important work that benefits everyone in our state.”

The 2012 grants support activities that address a range of community concerns including restoring and protecting waterways, reducing exposure to air pollutants from diesel exhaust and seeking healthier alternatives to household pesticides. 

Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, EPA’s environmental justice small grants program has supported projects to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,300 communities. The grants represent EPA’s continued commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and advance environmental justice in communities across the nation.


2012 Delaware Grant Recipients 

Recipient: Clean Air Council

Project Name: South Wilmington Air Quality Assessment Study

Project Location: Wilmington, DE

Issue: Clean air

“Clean Air Council Combats Air Pollution in South Wilmington, Delaware”

The goal of this project is to examine Wilmington, Delaware City Ordinance 02-116 which is intended to prevent or limit fugitive dust. The project also seeks to ensure the ordinance is effectively implemented and enforced in the community where residents are burdened by a number of air pollution sources including industrial, manufacturing, and transportation sources. The Clean Air Council will conduct interviews with local government officials in an effort to understand the background behind the current ordinance and how it has been implemented. The Council will also conduct interviews with members of the South Wilmington community to learn about ways in which the law could be implemented more effectively. 

Recipient: Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (RCAP)

Project Name: Delaware Homeowner’s Associations Onsite Wastewater Sustainability Project

Project Location: Delaware (Sussex and Kent Counties)

Issue: Clean water, safe drinking water

“RCAP Seeks Solid Waste Management Solutions for Financially Burdened Delaware Communities”

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (RCAP) RCAP seeks to create a sustainable system of solid waste management and removal in ten rural, low-income Delaware communities. This project will address the environmental, public health and financial burdens of each community and provide assistance in properly maintaining wastewater treatment systems.  The project will ensure functional sustainability of the wastewater treatment systems, compliance with local and federal regulations and explore ways to address health hazards due to improperly treated wastewater.

Recipient: Natural Lands Trust

Project Name: Addressing Sea-Level Rise in Downe Township

Project Location: Downe Township, NJ

Issue: Water quality

“Natural Lands Trust Seeks to Tackle Threats Against Downe Township Water Supplies”

Natural Lands Trust will examine potential threats and vulnerabilities to the septic systems and drinking water supplies in Downe Township, N.J.  This project will examine strategies for responding to climate change with a focus on Sea Level Rise (SLR) and extreme storm events in economically depressed communities along the Delaware Bay.  This project is intended to serve as a pilot study about strategies for responding to the potential impacts of climate change on water supplies and infrastructure for bayshore communities throughout the Delaware Estuary.

2012 EJ Small Grant recipients and project descriptions:

More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program: 

Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY 2013 Environmental Justice Small Grants and schedule of pre-application teleconference calls: