EPA Awards TNP $30K Grant for Education Efforts

WARREN, Ohio – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership a $30,000 grant to educate residents and demolition crews of the hazards of lead and other contaminants in soils after a house has been razed.

The EPA announced the grant Monday.

The executive director of TNP, Matt Martin, said the funds will be used to inform residents who live near properties where houses have been demolished on how they can reduce their exposure to potential soil contamination. They will also be used to educate demolition crews so they minimize the dust and airborne pollution that results from their work.

In its announcement, the EPA characterized the grant as funding “to create an educational initiative in Warren to reduce exposure to potential soil contamination from former industrial activities.”

Some of the education for residents will consist of TNP staff knocking on the doors of affected residents, literature they will leave behind for residents not at home and online training for contractors.

TNP is researching best practices, especially those in Detroit, so residents and demolition crews heed its efforts to minimize the hazards of soil and airborne contamination. One goal is to remediate the soil so that some properties can be used as urban gardens, Martin said.

TNP has funding to raze 1,000 vacant houses throughout Trumbull County, Martin said, and hopes to tear down somewhere between 200 and 300 next year. The houses almost always have lead plumbing and keeping that metal from getting into the soil from the resultant dust is crucial.

With the New School for Social Research in New York City, TNP is working to develop its own best practices, Martin said. Graduate students from the New School have visited Trumbull County to help TNP in its land reuse efforts and could return to offer insights on how to ensure that residents fully protect themselves from airborne and soil contaminants.

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