(New York, N.Y. – October 4, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Center for Family Services, Inc. in Camden, New Jersey was selected to receive $120,000 in funding through the 2018 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program. Ten organizations nationwide were selected to receive a total of $1.2 million in funding. Center for Family Services, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to address public health threats and environmental problems caused by illegal dumping in the Camden community.
“Many rural and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental health risks, such as lead exposure or unsafe drinking water,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA is committed to supporting local partnerships that will improve the environment and health of these underserved communities.”
“The hazards caused by illegal dumping are real, and raising public awareness and helping the community to become directly involved, are critical steps toward eliminating this environmental justice issue,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This project trains young Camden residents and empowers the community to combat illegal dumping, improving the environment and quality of life in Camden.”
“This important federal funding from the Environmental Protection Agency supports our work to reduce illegal dumping in Camden City through education, training, and community engagement,” said President and CEO of Center for Family Services, Inc., Richard Stagliano.
Center for Family Services, Inc. will use the EPA funding on a “clean-up” corps of community youth, hosting community events focused on illegal dumping education, and promoting use of a local web-based tool (Camden Reports) where Camden residents can report illegal dumping. Center for Family Services, Inc. is building off the success of the Camden Collaborative Initiative, which established Camden Reports and helped remove over 500 tons of solid waste in Camden.
The City of Camden spends approximately $4.5 million each year on cleaning up illegal dump sites. Over 5,800 tons of debris, including trash, tires, and electronics, have been collected from illegal dumping sites just this year. Sites formerly used for illegal dumping in the past have been revitalized as state-of-the-art parks and open space.
EPA's EJCPS program supports local organizations in their efforts to develop and implement community-driven solutions that address environmental and public health disparities in minority, low-income, tribal and indigenous populations.
A summary of each project, and more information about the 2018 EJCPS projects, is provided at https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-collaborative-problem-solving-cooperative-agreement-3.
For more information on the EJ Collaborative Problem-Solving Program, including descriptions of previously funded projects: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-justice/environmental-justice-collaborative-problem-solving-cooperative-agreement-0