EPA grants over $225,000 to environmental justice programs in Arizona

Aug 15, 2022, 4:15 AM

(Facebook photo / Native Renewables)...

(Facebook photo / Native Renewables)

(Facebook photo / Native Renewables)

PHOENIX — The Environmental Protection Agency announced $225,000 to programs addressing environmental justice in Arizona on Thursday.

The EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program awarded the funds for local environmental and public health issues, according to a press release.

The three projects are from the nonprofit Native Renewables, the Retail Arts, Innovation & Livability Community Development Corporation and the Purpose Focused Alternative Learning Corporation.

“Through these grants, EPA is funding innovative projects across Arizona based on community priorities,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman said in the release.

“Our goal is to achieve positive impacts through the meaningful involvement and fair treatment of the communities we serve, providing them the resources to advance environmental justice.”

Native Renewables, which serves the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, plans to install solar-powered refrigeration in 10 family homes in tribal communities to gather emissions and transportation data.

The organization will research how off-grid, solar refrigeration systems work for remote communities, the EPA said.

RAIL CDC will assess hot spots in underserved neighborhoods in Mesa and provide trees and other cooling projects.

The company will also offer a K-12 Summer Emergency Program to educate youth on heat safety and workshops focused on environmental justice solutions, the EPA said.

The Purpose Focused Alternative Learning Corporation plans to use its funding on developing a workforce specialized in solar technology on Western Navajo Nation to provide solar power to those living far from an electrical grid, according to its website.

“These EJ funds have allowed our community to leverage and network in building solar vendor relationships and recruiting more Navajos to be trained as Solar Navajo Technicians,” JoAnn Armenta, CEO Purpose Focused Alternative Learning, said in the release.

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EPA grants over $225,000 to environmental justice programs in Arizona