Monies to Benefit Opening of Upper Bay Beach, Lead Poisoning Prevention, Solar Panels at Salty Brine Beach, Asthma Intervention Among Youth, Environmental Mapping and Data Development, Healthy Homes Initiatives, Environmental Stewardship Education Programs, and Many More
As a result of a previously announced settlement with Volkswagen for violating Rhode Island state laws prohibiting the sale and leasing of diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed emissions control defeat device software, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced $4.1 million in funding for a variety of environmentally beneficial projects across the state.
Entities receiving grants include the University of Rhode Island, the City of East Providence, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), HousingWorks RI, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), the RI Schools Recycling Club, and the Farm Fresh Harvest Kitchen.
Projects range in size and scope and include remediation of storm water runoff issues in East Providence, a roof-top solar array at Salty Brine Beach, the construction of a passage for migratory fish at the John (Jay) Cronan Fishing Access on the Pawcatuck River in Richmond, an autonomous electric shuttle pilot program, lead poisoning prevention and asthma intervention programs, green and healthy homes initiatives, GIS mapping, and educational stewardship programs for at-risk youth, among others.
“A silver lining of Volkswagen’s malfeasance is being turned into a benefit for Rhode Island,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “It is through this settlement that we can have a real impact on the health and well-being of our citizens and support environmentally beneficial projects right here in Rhode Island. We chose grants based on the ability to most improve the quality of life for Rhode Island citizens, to further reduce harmful emissions from our environment, improve the health of our waterways, offset climate change hazards, and create environmentally-sound educational opportunities for students. I am especially excited about the Sabin Point Beach project, which will aid remediation efforts to finally re-open the Upper Bay beach to swimming after having been closed for decades and provide recreational opportunities for thousands who might not otherwise have access.”
Green & Health Homes Initiative ($500,000): Starting in November 2018, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) Rhode Island will utilize the $500,000 grant to continue its successful comprehensive housing intervention program to help create safe, energy efficient and stable housing for families in poverty throughout Rhode Island. Through the 18-month program, 200 homes of low income families will receive housing interventions to become more energy efficient, improve indoor air quality and address other issues such as lead hazards, safety hazards and asthma triggers.
The Attorney General’s grant will be leveraged with lead hazard reduction, weatherization and housing rehabilitation programs to allow families to address hazards in their home that often cause them to be deferred from critical housing services they are otherwise eligible to receive.
With previous Attorney General funding support, GHHI Rhode Island and its partners successfully completed 175 comprehensive housing interventions for low income families residing in 23 different cities and towns in Rhode Island.
“Low income families often live in homes that are poorly weatherized and have numerous home-based environmental health hazards that cause high energy bills, increased medical costs and result in negative health and social outcomes,” said GHHI President and CEO Ruth Ann Norton. “With funding support from Attorney General Kilmartin, we have the opportunity to help 200 Rhode Island families live in safer and more financially stable homes where seniors can age in place and children can come to school ready to learn and able to reach their full potential.”