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Source: US Environment Protection Agency

News Releases from Region 05

11/05/2020

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TOLEDO, OHIO (November 5, 2020) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will award $200,000 to the City of Toledo to use artificial intelligence to reduce lead exposure and promote environmental justice.

EPA is working to improve the environment and public health conditions of low-income and minority communities through continued efforts to ensure all Americans have clean air, safe water, and information to make decisions that affect their environment and personal health.

“This Administration has worked diligently to ensure clean air and clean water are basics shared by all, regardless of your zip code. This project will reduce lead exposure risks for Toledo’s most vulnerable residents by using historical data and technology to target lead service line replacements,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “We are excited to fund such a worthy project, one that could serve as a model for cities around the country.”

Toledo will use the funds to target and accelerate the removal of lead service lines from its drinking water system. In addition, Toledo plans to launch a public education campaign aimed at reaching the city’s most vulnerable residents to minimize lead exposure as the city replaces service lines. Using a machine learning predictive model, Toledo will assess home-by-home water service line risks to prioritize lead service line replacements, water filter distribution and outreach efforts.

Through the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program (SEJCA), EPA is providing grants over a two-year period to advance collaborative work with communities facing environmental justice challenges. The goal is to further understand, promote and integrate approaches to provide meaningful and measurable improvements for public health and the environment.

EPA has been actively supporting COVID-19 response efforts across the country to protect public health. As part of these efforts, the agency is providing $2 million nationwide in SEJCA grant funding to states, local governments and tribes. SEJCA-funded projects benefit low income and minority communities disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic.

For more information on EPA’s State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement grantees, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/state-environmental-justice-cooperative-agreement-program

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