SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $99,988 in grants to organizations in the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, Riverside and Kettleman City for projects focused on reducing exposure to toxins, education about diesel, and drinking water improvements.
In the Valley, Community Water Center got a $25,000 grant for its project, "Protecting Groundwater from the Ground Up." The project is at work in Merced, Tulare, Kern, Fresno, Kings, Madera, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
The project aims to educate select disadvantaged rural communities in the Valley about the causes and effects of drinking water pollution in their communities, and empower affected residents to take specific actions to reduce and prevent contamination of the region's drinking water sources, the news release said.
The project will provide technical assistance to residents facing water challenges, utilize various strategies to reach and educate residents about the pervasive lack of safe drinking water, provide water quality training to residents who want to become more engaged in San Joaquin Valley drinking water protection efforts and facilitate residents' direct participation in various public venues where water quality decisions are made.
EPA also announced it is seeking applicants for $1 million in environmental justice small grants expected to be awarded in 2012. The grant solicitation will close on Feb. 29.