Alaska awarded $160,000 grant

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received a three-year-grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The $160,000 award is funded through the EPA’s State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program. The grant is one of five of its kind awarded nationwide in 2009.

Environmental justice is broadly defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, culture, education, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.

With this funding, DEC will partner with rural organizations to find new ways to work together on environmental and human health issues. The grant will also help to create an approach for integrating traditional knowledge into agency decisions. “The grant will give us a new opportunity to collaborate with experienced environmental justice staff from the EPA and to explore ways of enhancing our dialogue with rural Alaskans,” said DEC Water Division Director Lynn Kent.