THEA secures grant to study climate impact

Houston, Texas: The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has announced that Texas Health and Environment Alliance (THEA) is one of only 13 North American nonprofits to receive its EJ4Climate Grant.

THEA will use the nearly $150,000 grant to address an emerging problem for coastal cities, the potential for flooding and other climate change impacts to release contaminated material from relic industrial sites.

“We are thankful for this opportunity. The Houston-Galveston area has potentially thousands of long-closed and forgotten industrial sites. The area is also experiencing in creased flooding, higher sea levels and the worst land subsidence in the country. That makes for a toxic threat for m any of our communities,“said Jackie Medcalf, Founder and CEO of THEA.

The CEC is made up of the leaders of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its sister agencies in Canada and Mexico.

“This award shows that the top environmental agencies in North America recognize that threat and are willing to invest in said. “It allows us to call attention to the problem and begin training the next generation of environmental leaders to take on the challenge.”

The risk that climate change-induced flooding could expose people to chemicals from old waste sites is an emerging issue that has not received enough attention. Houston is particularly vulnerable because:

—It has grown quickly and historically produced many small manufacturing and chemical processing companies.

—Lax zoning meant that homes were built near and even on top of now closed industrial sites.

—The region is already experiencing increased flooding and subsidence is causing some areas to sink by nearly one inch per year.

Additionally, the Houston-Galveston region is already the home to the majority of Superfund sites in Texas and the EPA recently identified climate change as a threat to public safety near several sites.

The EJ4Climate Grants provides funding to community-based organizations for projects that target under served and vulnerable communities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, to prepare them for climate-related impacts. To learn more about the EJ4Climate Grant Program, please visit www.cec.org/grant-programs/ej4climate.

Texas Health and Environment Alliance is the only local Houston-Galveston area nonprofit focused on helping communities address the health threats posed by Superfund and other historic toxic waste sites. Founded in 2015, THEA provides impacted communities with the science and a deep understanding of the remediation process. Armed with facts, residents can make informed decisions about their health and effectively push for their right to a safe environment. Notable successes for THEA have been the EPA decision to begin the cleanup at the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site and the agency’s recognition that it was not doing enough to protect residents living near the Jones Road Groundwater Plume Superfund Site.

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