Salt Lake nonprofit receives EPA environmental justice grant

Communidades Unidas cleans up Jordan River Trail. Photo courtesy of Communidades Unidas.
Communidades Unidas cleans up Jordan River Trail. (Photo courtesy Communidades Unidas)

Communidades Unidas, a nonprofit organization in West Salt Lake, received a $29,772 Environmental Protection Agency grant to educate minority and immigrant communities about indoor health hazards caused by pollution.

“EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants are making a visible difference in communities across the country,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy in an official press release. “These grants help build capacity, raise awareness, and equip communities with the tools to address environmental challenges — from climate change impacts to brownfields and water pollution. I’m proud to continue to promote these important grants and advance EPA’s long-term commitment to our community stakeholders.”

Richard Mylott, the spokesman for the EPA Office of Communications and Public Involvement for Region 8, said he shares the EPA’s excitement for what Communidades Unidas has planned with the grant money.

Communidades Unidas will use the grant money to come up with solutions to community health and environmental issues such as reducing exposure to asthma triggers, preventing lead poisoning, restoring waterways and reducing pesticide use in child care centers, Mylott said.

“The project that Communidades Unidas is pursuing through this grant will build off the work that they did as a partner in the area’s Children’s Environmental Health/Environmental Justice Initiative over the last several years,” Mylott said. “This initiative was a collaboration of government and other partner organizations aimed at improving children’s health in the communities on the west side of Salt Lake City.”

This grant will help Communidades Unidas continue to strive for social justice in Salt Lake City by ensuring fair treatment of all people, regardless of race or income, as well as equal involvement and consideration in the environmental decision-making process, Mylott said.

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