The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has awarded $30,000 to the Clinton Substance Abuse Council to raise awareness of the environmental and public health effects of improper medication storage and disposal in Clinton County, Iowa.
The funding to the Clinton Substance Abuse Council comes from EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program, which provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address the environmental challenges in their community.
The program is designed to help communities understand and address their exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Understanding the impacts of multiple environmental risks can help communities develop more effective solutions to their environmental and health concerns. The long-term goals of the EJSG Program are to help build the capacity of the affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environments in the future.
In Clinton County, unused prescription medication often is flushed down the toilet, contaminating local water sources. The “Clinton County Safe Medication Disposal Project” seeks to raise awareness of the environmental and public health effects of improper medication storage and disposal in Clinton County. Contaminants from pharmaceuticals can survive wastewater treatment and end up in surface water. Project partners aim to reduce local water pollution through public education activities and build consensus to prioritize proper medication storage/disposal in Clinton County. Residents will engage in practices that promote proper medication disposal, resulting in the reduction of waste and contaminants in the water system. Trainings will target up to 500 community residents.
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.