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News Releases

News Releases from Region 06

EPA Environmental Justice Grant to Pueblo of Zia Supports Solid Waste Projects

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (Feb. 14, 2020) Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave an Environmental Justice Small Grant to the Pueblo of Zia for a solid waste project. The project, carried out by the Pueblo of Zia Department of Environmental Resources (DER) and the Zia Youth Environmental Collaboration, will address litter, illegal dumping, and scrap tire piles within Pueblo lands. Goals include teaching Pueblo youth to document and report solid waste concerns using photography, holding workshops on recycling and waste control, and organizing two community cleanup days.

“Environmental justice small grants can return big results for organizations that best know their communities and their needs,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “The DER’s creative outreach programs will help the Pueblo of Zia build awareness and strategically address solid waste issues.”

As part of the project, the DER will loan 20 cameras with GPS capability to Pueblo teens and young adults so they can document possible violations of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, such as excessive littering or illegal dumpsites. The DER will meet with the youth to evaluate their findings, including visits to the most detrimental sites to discuss effects on the environment as well as potential prevention measures. The DER will use the data to compile a database of illegal dumpsites and tire piles for future removal and monitoring.

Since its inception in 1994, EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program has awarded more than $26 million in funding to over 1,400 local and tribal organizations working with communities facing environmental justice issues. The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Environmental Justice Small Grants fund projects up to $30,000, depending on the availability of funds in a given year.

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