In October the FCEC was selected to receive the prestigious 2009 National Environmental Justice Achievement Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its multi-stakeholder partnership that addresses environmental justice issues in the most at-risk communities.
“All FCEC partners won this award,” says EPA Remedial Project Manager Sharon Lin who oversees the FCEC project. “Without the diverse expertise and unwavering commitment of all those involved, this award would not have been possible.”
Environmental Justice is described as the fair treatment of all people regardless of their race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The program’s unique collaborative multi-stakeholder framework and approach to addressing the issue was key in FCEC receiving the award.
“There are a lot of great programs out there making substantial gains in protecting vulnerable populations from these sorts of pollutants,” adds Lin. “Ensuring Environmental Justice is a priority to the President Obama administration including the senior leadership at the EPA and we are poised to carry out this vision.”
All FCEC partners were responsible for this award, including Boat People SOS, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, California Department of Fish and Game - Enforcement, City of Long Beach Environmental Health, Heal the Bay, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Orange County Health Care Agency, St. Anselm’s Cross-Cultural Community Center, Asian Youth Center, Cal-EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Herald Community Center and S. Groner Associates.
“To be selected from a number of national projects is quite an honor,” says Connie Kwok of Herald Community Center, an FCEC partner responsible for reaching out to the Chinese community. “Environmental Justice is a core component of our work as we focus on segments of the population that are too often neglected.”