The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making $2 million available in 2010 to reduce pollution at the local community level through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. CARE is a community-based program that works with county and local governments, tribes, nonprofit organizations and universities to help the public understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources, including those found in water. Since 2005, the grants have reached 68 communities in 34 states and territories. A recent evaluation by the National Association of Public Administration (NAPA) recognized the CARE program as a solid tested framework for engaging communities and other stakeholders.
EPA will award CARE cooperative agreements in two levels. Level I awards range from $75,000 to $100,000 and will help establish community-based partnerships to develop local environmental priorities. Level II awards, ranging from $150,000 to $300,000 each, will support communities that have established broad-based partnerships, have identified the priority toxic risks in the community, and are prepared to measure results, implement risk-reduction activities and become self-sustaining.
Examples of projects that received grants include addressing waste and storm water issues in Kennett, Mo.; reducing air and water pollution in Holyoke, Mass.; addressing water pollution from coal slurry in Wheeling, W.Va.; reducing radon and other indoor air pollutants in Pueblo, Colo.; and tackling the problem of hazardous waste materials and open dumping in Toksook Bay, Alaska.
Applications for the CARE grants are due March 9, 2010. EPA will conduct three webcasts to answer questions from prospective applicants about the application process on Feb. 2, 23, and 26, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.