CCLR Partners with San Diego State University’s New Environmental Justice Center
San Diego State University has been awarded $10 million by the U.S. EPA to create an Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC). The New SDSU Center for Community Energy and Environmental Justice (CCEEJ) and its partners will provide training and other assistance to underserved communities throughout EPA Region 9. The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) is proud to partner with SDSU on this new environmental justice center which will build capacity at the local level, removing barriers and improving accessibility for communities with energy and environmental justice concerns.
CCEEJ aims to strengthen community organizations’ capacity and effectiveness in applying to, managing and implementing environmental and energy justice grants and programs. The center is committed to helping community organizations by providing technical assistance that includes: conducting environmental and energy justice needs assessment and analyses, facilitating navigation of government systems, identifying grant opportunities, increasing grant getting and administration capacity, supporting decision-making participation, advancing community champions.
As the country’s oldest non profit organization dedicated to brownfield cleanup and reuse, CCLR is fortunate to join SDSU in this important mission. Almost every community has a vacant or underutilized property that may have contamination from past uses. These brownfields are often concentrated in historically underserved, low-income communities of color and are likely to cause health issues such as asthma or cancer, block access to clean water and nutritious food, and impact the climate resiliency of a neighborhood.
“The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) is well positioned and eager to partner with San Diego State University to provide technical assistance to underserved communities with environmental justice concerns in EPA Region 9,” said Jean Hamerman, Executive Director of CCLR. “Brownfields are part of the problem of environmental injustice, but they can also be the catalyst to the solution.”
“SDSU has long been a central figure in regional, multi-partner projects, providing services, centering community-defined priorities and facilitating meaningful cooperative decision making,” said John Crockett, SDSU’s associate vice president for research advancement. “We are ready to apply our expertise to this opportunity.”
CCLR plans to support the SDSU Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center by providing guidance/assistance to: :
- Identify and address environmental and energy justice needs and challenges in brownfields communities
- Inform and educate on environmental and energy justice-related grant programs and how they can be leveraged to help underserved communities address environmental health, pollution, and justice challenges
- place solar and EV charging stations on brownfield properties through a robust network of environmental, legal and alternative energy experts
- facilitate community engagement and partnership to build capacity in communities, including strengthening human capital to focus on environmental justice and energy justice issues and fostering “community champions” to productively engage in the brownfields redevelopment and community revitalization process
Communities see the most benefit from brownfield reuse when they address environmental justice and equity through their redevelopment planning. With our expert support, we will assist communities in connecting these dots, leveraging brownfield sites to address communities needs such as housing, healthcare, education and jobs, while simultaneously eradicating past pollution. Together, SDSU’s EJ TC TAC program and CCLR will work towards the same goal: creating thriving, vibrant, healthy communities.