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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Awards Cincinnati-based Working In Neighborhoods $120,000 for Better Watershed Management

Working In Neighborhoods is one of 18 organizations selected nationwide for Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Agreements

Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (

CINCINNATI, OHIO (November 5, 2020)– Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an award of $120,000 in Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Agreements to the Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) organization, to improve watershed management and reduce stormwater runoff and pollution in Cincinnati. WIN is one of 18 selected community-based organizations nationwide, totaling $2.1 million in funding distributed this year under Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreements.


“This EPA grant will help a community in Cincinnati disproportionately impacted by water pollution and flooding to find local solutions,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “This Administration and this Agency are committed to protecting people from pollution regardless of what zip code they are in.”


Through the Partners for Better Watershed Management project, WIN will conduct demonstration projects, training, surveys and public education relating to the causes, effects, prevention and reduction of water pollution in Cincinnati. The project’s focus is on remediating stormwater runoff. Partners for Better Watershed Management will develop a comprehensive watershed management plan to reduce stormwater runoff entering Cincinnati’s combined sewer system and polluting waterways. WIN will conduct phone banking and social media outreach, hold demonstrations and educational workshops, and bring together stakeholders to develop a comprehensive plan to mitigate runoff in Mill Creek valley neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by water pollution. In addition, an estimated 25 homeowners will install green infrastructure to prevent storm water from flooding at their homes and overwhelming sewers. This project will protect public health by keeping sewage and pollution out of waterways and preventing sewer backups in homes in the Mill Creek Watershed. ​


Nationwide, this year’s EJCPS projects include reducing sources of air pollution, reducing lead exposure in homes of low-income residents, and reducing illegal dumping on tribal lands. 88 percent of this year’s recipients are in communities with Opportunity Zones, which were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Trump. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.


The EJCPS Agreement Program provides funding for non-profit and tribal organizations to partner with stakeholders from across industry, government, and academia to develop and implement solutions that significantly address environmental and/or public health issues in their communities. These projects support local problem solving through the development of sustainable partnerships. This program provides funds for community-driven solutions to local environmental problems.


Qualified Opportunity Zones are census tracts of low-income and distressed communities designated by state governors and certified by the Department of Treasury. These are areas where new investment may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. As of April 2019, there were more than 8,700 designated Qualified Opportunity Zones located in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five United States territories.

For a description of all winners nationwide, please visit


For more information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program, please visit:



Learn more about Opportunity Zones by visiting the federal Opportunity Zones website.