The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $149,000 to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to assist automotive repair and other industrial facilities in South Bronx, New York in preventing pollution.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will work with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute to identify facilities in South Bronx that use toxic chemicals and assess ways to prevent pollution. More than one year after Superstorm Sandy, many facilities that handle these substances remain unprepared to withstand another severe storm, threatening potential impacts to public health.
The EPA’s pollution prevention grants fund programs that reduce or eliminate hazardous waste, said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. Preventing pollution at the front end helps businesses reduce the use of toxic materials, save water and energy, protect people’s health and save money. Pollution prevention can also reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
“Pollution prevention is essential to protecting our environment and public health, as well as ensuring that New Yorkers can enjoy a high quality of life,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “This grant supports efforts consistent with DEC’s Operation ECO-Quality, which combines enhanced outreach, consultation, and community policing activities to help prevent pollution in some of New York State’s most economically disadvantaged communities. We thank EPA for providing funding to assist us in addressing pollution at it source, and look forward to working closely with our partners to develop effective methods and strategies to reduce pollution at industrial facilities in Bronx.”
Under this program, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and its partner organizations will conduct pollution prevention assessments at South Bronx industrial facilities. Two of the facilities will then be selected for extensive on-site technical assistance and demonstrations of approaches focused on reducing the production and release of hazardous materials. This information will then be shared with other facilities through an outreach and education campaign.
This grant is part of the approximately $5 million in grants the EPA awards each year to prevent pollution across the nation.
For more information on EPA Region 2’s pollution prevention program, please visit here.