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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that funds are available to support community-based partnerships to reduce toxic risks in local communities. The agency will award about $2.7 million in cooperative agreements in two levels through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program.
Programs that protect drinking water supplies through pollution prevention are among the EPA-cited examples for the CARE program. Other examples of EPA voluntary programs that reduce exposure to toxins and create safer communities include those that: reduce emissions from diesel engines; reduce waste from toxic chemical use; reduce emissions from small business operations while reducing costs; and improve the indoor environment in schools.
Level I cooperative agreements will help establish community-based partnerships and set priorities for reducing toxic risks in a community. EPA anticipates awarding eight to 10 cooperative agreements under Level I, ranging from $75,000 to $100,000.
Level II cooperative agreements are for communities that already have a broad-based collaborative partnership, have identified risk reduction priorities and are ready to implement risk reduction strategies. EPA expects to award six to eight cooperative agreements, ranging from $150,000 to $300,000.
A range of community groups may apply for funding, including county and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations and universities. EPA will conduct two conference calls, Feb. 21 and 24, for prospective applicants to ask questions about the application process.
The CARE program, which began in 2005, helps to build broad-based local partnerships for reducing risks from toxic pollutants that come from numerous sources.