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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Selects IPM Institute of North America in Milwaukee for Environmental Justice Small Grant

Agency selects 12 organizations to receive $360,000 nationwide

Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (

MILWAUKEE, WIS. (June 30, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 12 organizations, including the IPM Institute of North America in Milwaukee, will receive a total of $360,000 to help address environmental justice issues in their communities. Each of the organizations will receive $30,000. The organizations announced today were selected from the large pool of applicants in 2019. This funding is in addition to 50 organizations awarded $1.5 million in grants nationwide in November 2019.

“Regardless of zip code, the EPA works day in and day out to provide clean air, clean water, and clean land to all Americans,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These grants further the Trump Administration’s commitment to support low-income and minority communities, providing critical infrastructure to areas with environmental justice concerns.”

“EPA’s Environmental Justice grants advance our Agency’s commitment to ensuring that everyone receives equal protection from environmental risks and potential health hazards by supporting communities as they take action on local priorities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede.

"The IPM Institute of North America is thrilled to be awarded the EPA Environmental Justice Small Grant award,” said Valerie McGoldrick, Community IPM Coordinator. “This grant will allow us to work with the Milwaukee School District to deliver Integrated Pest Management training and get them IPM Star Certified. Students spend a major part of each day in school and exposure to pests and pesticides can create an unhealthy school environment. School conditions can be significantly improved with high-standard Integrated Pest Management. "

Seven of the 12 grants selected, or almost 60%, will support communities with census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones – an economically-distressed community where new investment may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Most often, those who reside near these sites are low-income, minority, and disadvantaged Americans. By focusing resources on these areas, we can multiply the impact of the tax incentive and attract even more economic development to these areas.

EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address environmental challenges in underserved and overburdened communities. The following organizations will receive grants:

  • Groundwork Lawrence, Lawrence, MA
  • Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia, PA
  • Metro Community Ministries, College Park, GA
  • Sustain Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
  • Heartland Communities, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN
  • The IPM Institute of North America, Milwaukee, WI
  • Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Albuquerque, NM
  • Taos Valley Acequia Association, Taos, NM
  • Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego, CA
  • Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Yurok Indian Reservation, CA
  • One Step A La Vez, Santa Clara River Valley, CA

The grants will enable these organizations to conduct research, provide education and training, and develop community-driven solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority, low-income, tribal, and rural communities.

The IPM Institute of North America will use the grant to conduct Pest Defense Workshops in Milwaukee Public Schools. Integrated pest management (IPM) uses sanitation and exclusion strategies to reduce pest complaints and pesticide use by up to 90%.  Assisted by EPA’s grant, the IPM Institute of North America will make available The Pest Defense for Healthy Schools, a free, online IPM training program developed with assistance from Milwaukee Public Schools that teaches school staff to identify and correct pest conducive conditions. Project activities will include five district-wide, in-person Pest Defense workshops, 20 onboarding webinars for individual schools and creation of a monthly newsletter to build staff capacity and meet WI GHS standards.

This month, as part of its 50th anniversary commemoration, EPA is highlighting some of the key state, tribal, international, non-profit, and private sector partnerships that have helped our nation further its progress toward cleaner air, water, and land. As one example, EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice coordinates with multiple partners that include federal and local government, business and industry, and academia to help improve environmental and public health conditions of low-income and minority communities.

For more information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, including descriptions of previously funded grants:

For more information on additional winners, please visit: