Imperial Valley News - October 23, 2008.
San Diego, California - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honors two southern California environmental organizations with the agency’s first annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards: San Diego County’s Negocio Verde Environmental Justice Task Force, and the Huntington Park-based Communities for a Better Environment.
“We all have a stake in ensuring that our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our land is better protected,” said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “These organizations are making a positive impact in their communities by promoting a clean and healthy environment for all people.”
San Diego’s Negocio Verde Environmental Justice Task Force provides free, bilingual compliance assistance and pollution prevention training, primarily in the county’s communities that face the greatest environmental justice concerns. Since 2003, the Task Force has trained over 6,500 individuals and promoted interaction between small businesses, local agencies, and community members on issues of environmental justice.
Susan Hahn with the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health, a member of the Task Force, accepted the award. The Chair of Diego’s Negocio Verde Environmental Justice Task Force, Kacey Christie, said, “We’re very excited to receive this honor from the EPA. It will energize us so we can go forward and present more environmental workshops."
Huntington Park’s Communities for a Better Environment focuses on environmental health and justice within working class communities of color through organizing, scientific and policy research, and legal assistance.
“Communities for a Better Environment is very proud to receive this award from the EPA,” said Bill Gallegos, executive director, Communities for a Better Environment. “It goes out to all of our African-American and Latino neighbors who are on the front line for environmental justice and climate change; this is really their award.”
The EPA’s Environmental Justice Achievement Awards recognizes organizations for their distinguished accomplishments in addressing environmental justice issues. Award recipients include representatives from community-based organizations; academic institutions; state and local governments; tribal governments and indigenous organizations; and non-governmental organizations and environmental groups.
In addition to San Diego’s Negocio Verde Environmental Justice Task Force and Huntington Park’s Communities for a Better Environment, at today’s ceremony in Atlanta, Ga., the EPA honored:
* Anahola Homesteaders Council (Anahola, Kauai, HI)
* Center for Environmental and Economic Justice (Biloxi, Miss.)
* Citizens for Environmental Justice (Savannah, Ga.)
* Dillard University, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (New Orleans, La.)
* Duke University, Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (Durham, N.C.)
* Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, S.C.)
* New Mexico Environment Department (Santa Fe, N.M.)
* Safer Pest Control Project (Chicago, Ill.)
* South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (Columbia, S.C.)
* West End Revitalization Association (Mebane, N.C.)