Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Children's Health Protection Grants for Communities
In 2011, EPA awarded grants to 13 organizations across the nation to address children's environmental health in under-served communities by building capacity for these communities to reduce environmental exposures in areas commonly occupied by children, such as homes, schools, and child-care centers.
Four of the grants awarded are for projects in our Pacific Southwest communities. As of October 2012, these projects have already directly trained more than 4350 people in more than 30 communities.
Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health
The Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health is expanding its community engagement activities as part of the Center for the Health Assessment of the Mothers and Children of Salinas Expansion (CHAMACOS) community/university partnership. The project will expand the CHAMACOS program by intensifying the university’s engagement with low-income Latino families in Salinas, and will expand its work to State agencies and other California counties. The project will accomplish the five following major activities:
- Educate children, families, pregnant women, teachers, and others in Monterey County about children’s environmental health issues
- Conduct train-the-trainer workshops in Monterey County
- Update and translate the center’s prenatal environmental health kiosk
- Disseminate existing program and educational materials to providers in other California counties with a high proportions of Latino farmworkers
- Create an online resource center for children’s environmental health in low-income Latino communities.
Project Period: October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012
- Four different training courses were presented and 852 people received training.
- Don’t Let Pesticides be Part of Your Family training was presented seven times to a total of 148 people.
- Safe and Healthy Childcare Centers Make Happy Kids training was presented nine times to a total of 240 people.
- Achieving Healthy Families through Healthy Homes training was presented twelve times to a total of 314 people.
- The Puppet Show on Pesticide Exposures was presented five times to 110 children and 40 parents and teachers.
- Continuing Medical Education in Environmental Health training was presented during a brownbag at the Natividad Hospital in Salinas, California. A total of 30 public health professionals, physicians, and nurses attended the brownbag.
- The prenatal environmental health kiosk has been translated from Spanish to English and both versions are now available at the CERCH website . New slides on emerging exposures have been developed and a voiceover for the slides will be recorded in English and Spanish.
- The online resource center with summaries of the CHAMACOS research project and environmental health topics has been established and is available at the CERCH website . Web pages have been developed for parents, teens, kids, community groups, health care providers, and media. The website has received over 3,300 unduplicated visitors in the second quarter.
- CERCH received additional funding through the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to develop IPM training resources for pest control companies that service child care centers. This will be a long term resource that builds on the work CERCH is currently doing with child care centers.
Farmworker Justice is a nonprofit organization that works to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers to improve their living and working conditions. Farmworker Justice's Healthy Fields, Healthy Kids project will work with community farm worker organizations in California, Arizona, and Florida to provide education and outreach to farmworker families to improve their children's environmental health and also to build the capacity of partner organizations to support further children's environmental health work.
Project Period: October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012Accomplishments:
- Developed a Healthy Fields, Healthy Kids environmental health curriculum, and revised the Clean Environment for Healthy Kids curriculum with new activities addressing lead poisoning prevention and residential and take-home pesticide exposures.
- Provided a two-day interactive training to 46 promotores, plus 3 Outreach Coordinators.
- The trained promotores reached a total of 3,367 farmworkers in 24 communities in California’s Central Valley; Arizona’s Yuma County; and around Pierson, Florida.
Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) is a statewide coalition of more than 185 member groups whose mission is to improve and protect public health, sustainable agriculture, and environmental quality. CPR is partnering with community groups in Kern and Fresno counties to address children’s environmental health issues in California’s San Joaquin Valley through two new projects: the Kern Environmental Enforcement Network (KEEN) and the Fresno Environmental Reporting Network (FERN).
* These projects aim to improve enforcement of environmental health laws by creating partnerships between community members and local agencies, and removing barriers to reporting suspected environmental violations. These projects replicate the successful model called Imperial Visions Action Network (IVAN) in Imperial County that led to 44 reported violations to enforcement agencies and over $90,000 in penalties in the first two years of operation.
* Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) – the applicant organization for CPR revised CPR’s workplan to focus on Kern and Fresno Counties. The original workplan focused on Kern and Tulare Counties.
Project Period: October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2013Accomplishments:
- CPR conducted a bus tour of Lamont and Weedpatch on February 29 to highlight specific community concerns in those areas and to launch the KEEN project. Twenty-three staff from 16 different agencies, 24 representatives from 14 different advocacy organizations, and about five community members went on the bus tour. Participants included the Regional Administrator of U.S. EPA Region 9, Jared Blumenfeld; Assistant Secretary of Environmental Justice at the California EPA, Arsenio Mataka; and Deputy Director of Enforcement & Emergency Response at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Brian Johnson, among others.
- CPR held a press conference in Bakersfield on May 1st to officially launch the KEEN website, where community reports of environmental violations are posted. The website has received 37 reports since May 1st.
- To date, CPR and partner organizations the Dolores Huerta Foundation and the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, have held more than five community trainings on KEEN, reaching more than 50 community members in Lamont, Arvin, Wasco, and Shafter.
- CPR established a working group of NGOs, community members, and agency officials, and to date has held five KEEN Task Force meetings the first Tuesday of each month:
- Twenty-seven people attended the May 1st meeting.
- Sixteen people attended the June 5th meeting.
- Seventeen people attended the July 3rd meeting.
- Fifteen people attended the August 7th meeting.
- Seven people attended the September 4th meeting.
- KEEN activities (web-based reports, working group meetings, the February bus tour) have resulted in the following actions:
- The Kern County Roads Department installed a bus shelter at the Weedpatch market and one in Lamont. (A specific request for a Weedpatch market bus shelter was made during the KEEN February bus tour.)
- The Kern County Agricultural Department (KCAD) set up an after-hours voicemail in English and Spanish so people can leave non-emergency pesticide incident reports after business hours in either language.
- The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District fined an almond grower for illegally burning green brush.
- Kern County Code Enforcement and Kern County Parks cleaned several illegal dumping sites and sump holes in Lamont and Bakersfield.
- The Lamont Public Utility District is installing streetlights along five different streets in Lamont (a concern raised on the KEEN bus tour).
- The Lamont Public Utility District has scheduled nine homes with blocked septic tanks for hook up to a main sewage line in Lamont (another concern reported during the original KEEN bus tour)
The Sonora Environmental Research Institute (SERI) is a nonprofit organization that provides unbiased research and technical assistance on environmental issues to identify solutions to environmental problems based on a sustainable future. SERI's Community Based Healthy Childcare Program will provide healthy homes training, inspections, and certifications for Head Start programs and small in-home child-care providers in Tucson, Arizona. SERI is expanding their current program to home-based and small childcare providers and Head Start programs, establishing a healthy childcare provider recognition program, expanding healthy homes principals in Tucson Fire Department Prevention Division’s (TFD) procedures, increasing training opportunities for community members, and expanding the role of the SERI Community Advisory Board (CAB).
Project Period: October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2013Accomplishments:
- 30 promotoras trained on fire safety and advanced healthy homes concepts.
- All Tucson Fire Dept staff trained on healthy homes concepts.
- Conducted 53 joint healthy homes assessments with the Fire Dept giving a strong foundation when childcare assessments begin next quarter.
- Tucson Fire Department including incorporation of healthy homes principles in inspections and assessments of all childcare providers.
- SERI completed all required forms for healthy childcare inspections. The forms were approved by the State and TFD, and meet the State licensing requirement for fire inspections. The TFD is now referring childcare providers to SERI for fire inspections.
- SERI and Fire Department Staff conducted 38 education and outreach activities.
- The Tucson Fire Department provided 19 healthy childcare training classes in Head Starts and preschools. SERI conducted outreach at two elementary schools.
- SERI promotoras conducted practice health and safety inspections of seven child care centers and two group homes. The inspections were guided by TFD inspection staff and a retired TFD Deputy Chief of Prevention.
- SERI completed seven childcare inspections with the approved childcare inspection form.
- 16 healthy childcare and group home kits were distributed, which include smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and childproofing supplies.
Please see the Office of Children's Health website for more information on the awarded children's environmental health grants.
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