Smokestacks emitting greenhouse gases. Photo courtesy Environmental Protection Agency

The state Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday dispersed environmental justice grants totalling nearly $90,000 to a pair of environmentalist groups in San Diego.

The Environmental Health Coalition received $50,000 to educate local residents about air pollution and air quality issues, and the I Am My Brother’s Keeper Community Development Corporation received $39,850 to launch a campaign to educate mobile home communities in the county’s southeastern areas on environmental sustainability.

The EHC will use its funding to provide in-home air quality hazards and teach residents how to sample air quality and report violations to the San Diego Air Pollution Control District. The EHC will also hold several small workshops to help residents become more engaged with local decision-making processes that affect the environment.

The I Am My Brother’s Keeper CDC will undertake its outreach efforts with the Southeast San Diego Sustainability Coalition by holding four workshops for residents who live in mobile homes. During the workshops, attendees will learn about rebates for environmentally friendly vehicles, ways to improve water and energy efficiency and the benefits of solar energy.

The state EPA issued a total of 34 grants worth $1.5 million to projects in counties around the state that are intended to increase public knowledge of and engagement with environmental issues. The 34 grants are the most awarded in one cycle since the state established the Environmental Justice Small Grant awards in 2002.

“These grants put money where it is needed most, in communities disproportionally affected by pollution,” said state Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld. “Our goal is to give people a voice in the decisions affecting their environmental future so that they can help develop real-world solutions locally and across the state.”

City News Service