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Collaborative Community and Regional Programs

FACT SHEET: Financial Assistance Programs to Support Collaborative Community and Regional Environmental Protection

EPA supports several programs designed to encourage environmental stewardship through collaboration at the community and regional levels. During the first half of 2006, EPA will be accepting applications to solicitations for five such programs. These programs focus on sustainability, toxics reduction, environmental health, environmental justice, and tribal science. They emphasize science and community-based collaboration to differing degrees.

WHAT ARE THE PROGRAMS?

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE). EPA's CARE program began in 2005 to help build broad-based local partnerships to reduce risks to communities from environmental toxics. With the 2006 CARE solicitation, EPA will award two levels of cooperative agreements. Level I cooperative agreements will help establish community-based partnerships and set priorities for reducing toxic risks in a given community. Level II cooperative agreements will be for communities that already have a broad-based collaborative partnership, have identified risk reduction priorities, and are ready to implement risk reduction strategies. For additional information about CARE, projects awarded in 2005 and how to apply, visit EPA's Web site at: www.epa.gov/CARE.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program (EJSG). This program promotes the use of collaborative partnerships in addressing local environmental and/or public health issues. EJSG will fund projects at the beginning phases of the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model (EJ CPS Model). EPA developed the EJ CPS Model to assist disproportionately affected communities in developing proactive, strategic, and visionary approaches to address their environmental justice issues and achieve community health and sustainability. EJSG will fund projects where the primary purpose is to: (1) build a collaborative partnership; (2) identify the local environmental and/or public health issues to be addressed; and (3) envision solutions and empower the community through education, training, and outreach. The EJSG solicitation and more information on the EJ CPS Model are available at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program (EJ CPS). Applicants to this program are required to have built a foundation with the first three elements of the EJ CPS Model. Building on this foundation, applicants are expected to develop other model elements (e.g., Consensus Building and Dispute Resolution, Constructive Engagement with Other Stakeholders, etc.). EJ CPS will only fund projects where the primary purpose is to address an existing local environmental and/or public health issue. The project's primary focus cannot be education or training. The EJ CPS solicitation and more information on the EJ CPS Model are available at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-cps-grants.html

Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability (CNS). The CNS program encourages innovative thinking about the practical applications of science and engineering and engineering in pursuit of sustainability. Grantees will bring together diverse sets of partners to explore and learn about new approaches to environmental protection at a regional scale that are systems-oriented, forward-looking, and preventive with links to economic and social dimensions. The collection of projects will inform practical learning on analytical tools, collaborative approaches, and decision-making to support progress towards sustainability. The CNS solicitation, along with information on projects currently funded under this program, can be found at www.epa.gov/ncer/cns.

Tribal Science Program. Tribal and subsistence populations may be at especially high risk for environmentally-caused diseases and health outcomes as a result of their lifestyles, occupations and customs, and/or environmental releases impacting tribal lands. Through this program, EPA is supporting scientific research paired with a community-based approach to build scientific and practical understanding of the connection of tribal-specific factors to health risks from toxic substances in the environment. The community-based approach aims to help build Tribal capacity for risk assessment and management. More information can be found at: www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa.

HOW DO THESE PROGRAMS DIFFER?

Project geographic scale. EJSG, EJ CPS, CARE, and the Tribal Science Program focus on projects ranging from a local or tribal community to a metropolitan area. CNS projects range in geographic extent from a metropolitan area to several states.

Science versus implementation. The Tribal Science Program supports scientific research on topics such as cumulative exposure, risk assessment, and risk management strategies. CNS focuses on innovative applications of science and engineering to support planning and decision-making that contribute to a desired environmental future; and EJSG, EJ CPS, and CARE apply recognized methods and frameworks to practically address existing priority environmental risks.

Current problems versus potential future problems. CNS focuses on solving or preventing potential future environmental problems relating to sustainability. The Tribal Science Program, EJSG, EJ CPS, and CARE are focused on solving current environmental health problems.

Project size and stage. EJSG and CARE Level I are early stage, small projects while EJ CPS, CARE Level II, CNS, and the Tribal Science Program support larger, more developed projects.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

CARE: Local and tribal governments, not-for-profit institutions located in the US, institutions of higher education.

EJSG and EJ CPS: Community-based nonprofit organizations

CNS and Tribal Science Program: Institutions of higher education and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S., and tribal, state and local governments

HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

EPA will conduct two conference calls on the CARE program in mid-February when prospective applicants can ask questions about the application process. Six informational conference calls are scheduled for the EJSG and EJ CPS programs. More information is available on the corresponding Web sites.

CONTACTS:
CARE: Larry Weinstock (weinstock.larry@epa.gov), U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation, or call the CARE hotline at (877) 227-3909;
EJSG: Sheila Lewis(lewis.sheila@epa.gov), U.S. EPA Office of Environmental Justice, (202) 564-5396
EJCPS: Ayako Sato (sato.ayako@epa.gov), U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Justice, (202)564-5396
CNS: Diana Bauer (bauer.diana@epa.gov), EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC; (202)343-9759
Tribal Science Program: Montira Pongsiri (pongsiri.montira@epa.gov), (202) 343-9640

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