February 28, 2023
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $21,410,211 in grant funding to 16 institutions for community-based research to examine how climate change may compound adverse environmental conditions and stressors for vulnerable populations in underserved communities. EPA Region 2 has three organizations slated to receive $4 million in grant funding from this total.
“Our efforts to address climate change must prioritize the health and wellbeing of those who are most vulnerable to its impacts,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The research announced today will help us to characterize the cumulative impacts of climate change on the health and wellbeing of our most underserved communities so that we can work to mitigate these impacts and improve resilience.”
The environmental and health effects of climate change are far reaching. Some communities are more vulnerable because they already face greater exposure to pollutants and lack the resources to respond to and cope with environmental stressors. These communities may be more likely to suffer sustained or even permanent damage from the impacts of climate change, further worsening health disparities. Additionally, children, older adults, and people with disabilities or pre-existing health conditions may be more susceptible.
These grants will support research projects that will use community-based participatory research approaches that aim to empower the partnering underserved communities with science-based resilience-building solutions to protect their most vulnerable residents. The grants are provided as part of the EPA’s Cumulative Health Impacts at the Intersection of Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Vulnerable Populations/Lifestages: Community-Based Research for Solutions funding opportunity.
The following institutions are receiving awards:
City University of New York – York College, Jamaica, New York, Studying Air Pollution-Health-Climate Interactions for People of Color in Southeast Queens, NY: A Community-Based Project
City University of New York is receiving an award $1,344,622 for Studying Air Pollution-Health-Climate Interactions for People of Color in Southeast Queens, NY under a Community-Based Project.
CUNY works with underserved communities in Southeast Queens near multiple solid waste treatment and transport facilities. Employing community-participatory research to empower the communities with information that can be used to inform state/local decision makers and city planners for mitigative actions. Poor air quality, whether outdoors or indoors, can negatively affect the human respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Outdoor ground-level ozone and particle pollution can have a range of adverse effects on human health. Current levels of ground-level ozone have been estimated to be responsible for tens of thousands of hospital and emergency room visits, millions of cases of acute respiratory symptoms and school absences, and thousands of premature deaths each year in the United States.
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa., Understanding Pediatric Susceptibility Across Temperature and Environment in New York = Upstate NY
Drexel University is receiving an award of $1,350,000 to support understanding pediatric susceptibility across temperature and environment in New York. Children in underserved communities are more vulnerable and susceptible to environmental stressors elevated by climate change. The University is partnering with urban and rural communities in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany areas in New York. Prioritizing environmental vulnerabilities and assets that can harm or bolster resilience in children so effective policies and programs can be implemented.
Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Community-based research to address cumulative health effects of drought on rural communities who operate drinking water aqueducts in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, San Juan, Puerto Rico will be receiving an award of $1,349,990 for their community-based research to address cumulative health effects of drought on rural communities who operate drinking water aqueducts in Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust uses local knowledge along with scientific data collected through community-engaged research to help build a more sustainable and resilient water supply system for rural communities, improving community health in Puerto Rico.
Learn more about EPA research grants.
Learn more about EPA’s Cumulative Impacts Research.
Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.