Resources for Communities
The following Web resources can help communities protect their environment:
Measurement Tips & Resources for Community Projects (PDF) (7 pp, 408K, About PDF)
A seven-page flier providing a set of tools and informative guidance to assist CARE communities in measuring their progress and success.
Project Sustainability Checklist (PDF) (19 pp, 2.5MB, About PDF)
This 19-page checklist is a planning tool developed for CARE communities to help them think through actions that, if implemented, may help sustain their work. It includes guidance on how to develop a partnership development strategy.
Promising Practices to Improve Community Performance and Sustainability (PDF) (32 pp, 3.9MB, About PDF)
This 32-page publication shares promising practices and tips from CARE community projects that have succeeded in reducing environmental and health risks.
Federal Environmental Grant Resources for Planning and Implementation (PDF) (4 pp, 107K, About PDF)
A four-page flier providing information about various federal grant resources that may help your community plan for, prioritize and reduce environmental risks and help fund locally-driven sustainable solutions.
Resource Guide: Resolving Environmental Conflicts in Communities (May 2000) (PDF) (6 pp, 344K About PDF)
A six-page flier designed to introduce the newcomer to Alternative Dispute Resolution activities in the context of stakeholder involvement, which includes contact information, light text and engaging graphics.
Community-Based Environmental Protection: A Resource Book for Protecting Ecosystems and Communities (PDF) (144 pp, 1.7MB About PDF)
A citizen's handbook for initiating community-based environmental protection projects, which includes descriptions of local, state, tribal, and federal tools for protecting local ecosystems, economic sustainability, and quality of life. The resource book includes more than 30 descriptive stories of communities in action.
Guide to Federal Agency Resources: Promoting a Healthy, Vibrant Asian American and Pacific Islander Community (PDF) (42 pp, 2.9MB, About PDF)
An easy-to-use navigational tool providing a snapshot of federal funding, programs and resources available to assist organizations and individuals seeking to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Within this guide, individuals and organizations can find such information as grant opportunities, loan programs to help start a business, federal resources for food and housing for low-income individuals, and health care programs for veterans and their families. This guide also includes “10 Grantee Spotlights,” featuring organizations and individuals who have successfully navigated the federal grant application process and can offer advice to prospective applicants.
Community-Based Risk Assessment (CBRA)
Different communities face different exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors. Some communities may be more vulnerable to such stressors, due to genetics, social or other environmental factors. For many years, the environmental justice movement and local communities have been asking EPA to assess cumulative exposures. Therefore, CBRA is an attempt to address exposures and environmental health risks in real world contexts.
A Citizen's Guide to Achieving a Healthy Community, Economy and Environment
This guide outlines the basic principles of community development, economic development and environmental protection. It is intended to serve as a starting point for understanding the "three legs of the stool" that support a healthy society. The guide provides ideas for taking introductory actions, and addresses in detail the characteristics of compatible economic development.
Community Culture and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place (PDF) (293 pp, 5.0MB About PDF)
This guide offers a process and set of tools for defining and understanding the human dimension of an environmental issue.
Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook (PDF) (77 pp, 1.5MB, About PDF)
Provides a framework for any organization or community interested in developing an urban farm on cleaned-up brownfields or vacant sites to help address neighborhood blight, food access or community development challenges. The handbook provides guidance on how to assemble marketing, operating and financial strategies to communicate your urban farm project to potential partners and funders. Questionnaires related to each section, as well as financial spreadsheets, are also included.
Brownfields and Urban Agriculture: Interim Guidelines for Safe Gardening Practices (PDF) (24 pp, 1.8MB, About PDF)
Presents a process and recommendations for developing agricultural reuse projects on sites with an environmental history. Potential gardeners, state environmental agencies and regulators can use this process to determine how to address risks inherent to redeveloping brownfields for agricultural reuses, while protecting human health. This document can be used as an interim guideline until research can provide more definitive standards and policies for agricultural reuse on these sites. Although the guide was developed in the Midwest, it may be used to benefit tribes and communities throughout the country wishing to utilize urban agriculture on brownfield sites and vacant properties.
Guidebook of Financial Tools: Paying for Sustainable Environmental Systems
This EPA Website evaluates financing tools that states and communities can use to help meet the costs of community-based environmental protection, and includes 19 ways of raising revenues and lowering costs. These financing tools range from traditional state and federal assistance programs to proven mechanisms long used to pay for other types of programs and activities to innovative new public-private partnership approaches.
Environmental Finance Center, Wichita State University
Wichita State University is the site of the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) for EPA Region 7. Our mission is to provide help to those facing the "how to pay" challenges of environmental protection. The EFC is committed to helping the regulated community build and improve the technical, managerial, and financial capabilities needed to comply with federal and state environmental protection laws. Nine universities in the United States have been designated EFCs by the EPA to help states and regulated entities manage environmental mandates.
Toxic Air Pollutants
These pages provide information about air toxics in the United States. You can find out how much toxic pollution is in the air, the cause of the pollution, and what EPA is doing to reduce it.
A Citizen's Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Radon
Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can't see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually.
Healthy School Environments
More than 53 million children and about six million adults spend a significant portion of their days in more than 120,000 public and private school buildings. Many of these buildings are old and in poor condition, and may contain environmental conditions that inhibit learning and pose increased risks to the health of children and staff. This Web page is designed to provide one-stop access to the many programs and resources available to help prevent and resolve environmental issues in schools.
Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil
Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead also can be emitted into the air from motor vehicles and industrial sources, and lead can enter drinking water from plumbing materials. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk.
Surf Your Watershed
Find your watershed using the form provided. Once you locate your watershed, you'll be able to find citizen-based groups that are active in your watershed.
Adopt Your Watershed
EPA's Adopt Your Watershed program challenges you to serve your community by getting involved in organizations helping to protect local water bodies.
Top 10 Watershed Lessons Learned
EPA, in partnership with many others, has been pursuing a watershed approach to protecting our lakes, rivers, wetlands, estuaries, and streams. This document is an attempt to identify the top important lessons that have been learned by EPA and our many partners that are worth sharing, and present them in one place.
The Watershed Academy is a focal point in EPA's Office of Water for providing training and information on implementing watershed approaches.
Committed watershed organizations and state and local governments need adequate resources to achieve the goals of the Clean Water Act and improve our nation's water quality. To support these efforts, EPA has created this Website to provide tools, databases, and information about sources of funding to practitioners and funders that protect watersheds.
A selection of safety awareness materials on a wide range of topics, created by National Fire Safety Council, Inc., to help explain to children the situations they might have to face one day, with or without adult guidance. The materials are designed for specific age groups. The website also includes safety materials for adults.
U.S. Geological Survey: Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
The U.S. Geological Survey initiated the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program in 1982. Its goal is to provide the unbiased earth science information on the behavior of toxic substances in the nation's surface and ground waters that is needed to avoid human exposure, to develop effective remedial strategies, and to prevent further contamination.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Water Center
The Water Center implements and facilitates water and water-related research, extension, teaching and public outreach programming within the University of Nebraska system as a part of NU's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the School of Natural Resources.
USA.gov: Government Made Easy
A comprehensive list of government resources for community planning, indexed for citizens, businesses and nonprofits, government employees, and visitors to the United States.
Resilience Circle Organizing Kit and Reading List
A Resilience Circle helps strengthen communities through “shared action.” A circle is a small group that comes together to learn about the root causes of ecological and economic challenges, build relationships that increase personal security, and undertake concrete steps for mutual aid and shared action. In the process, a Resilience Circle allows neighbors (co-workers, etc.) to get to know one another, find inspiration, and have fun. Resilience Circles now exist in 23 communities in the U.S. The group Local Circles offers an online Organizing Kit with tips and tools for forming a circle, an introductory presentation and access to Webinars, and it will include a community outreach brochure. A free 7-session curriculum is also available electronically by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sonoran Institute inspires and enables community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America. The nonprofit Sonoran Institute, founded in 1990, works across the rapidly changing West to conserve and restore natural and cultural assets and to promote better management of growth and change. The Institute's community-based approach emphasizes collaboration, civil dialogue, sound information, local knowledge, practical solutions and big-picture thinking.
The Citizen's Handbook: Practical assistance for those who want to make a difference
A guide to building the community in Vancouver, Canada.