East St. Louis Residential Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative
State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreements (SEJCA)
A State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement
Project Proposal submitted to the United State Environmental Protection
Agency by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the Request
for Proposals for EPA-OECA-OEJ-09-01
April 10, 2009
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s East.
St. Louis Residential Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Ken Page, Environmental Justice Officer
1021 North Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
Phone: (217) 524-1284
Fax: (217) 785-8346
East Side Health District
Anna Hardy, RN, Public Health Nurse
638 N. 20th Street
East St. Louis, Illinois 62205
Phone: (618) 874-4713 x247
St. Clair County Inter-Governmental Grants Department
Christina Anderson, Housing Program Supervisor
Community Development Division
19 Public Square, Suite 200
Belleville, Illinois 62220
Phone: (618) 277-6790 x3218
Total Funding Request: $160,000.00
Our Collaborative Partners: East Side Health District, St. Clair County
Inter-Governmental Grants Department/Community Development Division,
City of East St. Louis, Ministerial Alliance of east St. Louis and the
Illinois Department of Public Health
The mission of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois
EPA) is to protect, restore, and enhance the quality of air, land and
water resources to benefit current and future generations. The Illinois
EPA was created in 1970 by the Illinois Environmental Protection Act,
the first comprehensive environmental law in the nation and began operating
on July 1, 1970. The Illinois EPA’s programs and authorities are
established under the Act, other state laws and regulations, and federal
laws and regulations. Under state law, the Illinois EPA is designated
as the primary administrative and enforcement agency in Illinois for
the major federal environmental protection programs. The Illinois EPA’s
FY09 appropriations total $1.3 billion, comprising $287 million for operations,
and $1 billion for financial assistance programs. The Illinois EPA has
an authorized headcount of 1,035. The Agency is headquartered in Springfield,
with 10 regional and field offices located throughout the State, as well
as a laboratory in Springfield.
Since its creation in 1970, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
has implemented and administered major state and federal environmental
laws and regulations that have helped result in significant improvements
in the quality of our air, land, and water and protection of public health.
Outdoor air quality has improved significantly and most recently we
have met one set of federal standards for ozone and fine particulates
in the Chicagoland and Metro East areas while we work on new strategies
to meet even more stringent ones that are going into effect. Illinois’ coal-fired
power plants are starting to install equipment to implement regulations
that are among the toughest in the nation to reduce mercury emissions
and will also have to comply with more stringent limits on sulfur dioxide
and nitrogen oxide than are required by federal regulations. IEPA also
continues to work with Illinois stakeholders and regional and national
organizations on strategies to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute
to climate change.
The site cleanup programs administered by Illinois EPA to remove historic
contamination from old industrial and commercial sites have been among
the largest and most successful in the nation. IEPA is currently refining
our cleanup program to emphasize more sustainable and green practices
for these remediation projects. In addition, the Agency administers programs
to manage and reduce solid waste, including household and school hazardous
waste collections, a new pharmaceutical disposal initiative, and a popular
program to clean up open dumps are under funding strictures.
On the clean water front, the Illinois EPA has worked in recent years
to address the thousands of National Pollution Discharge Elimination
System permits that must be administered and inspecting and monitoring
thousands of drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and systems,
as well as proactive programs to reduce potential sources of pollution
in our lakes, streams and groundwater. The wastewater and drinking water
infrastructure low-interest revolving loan program has provided more
than $3 billion in financing the past 22 years.
Particularly since the passage of landmark “Right to Know” legislation
in 2005, the Illinois EPA has also been working diligently on expanding
outreach to citizens impacted by off-site contamination from industrial
and other sources. Those responsible for the contamination now have a
greater legal obligation to not only inform their neighbors of any impact
but to put in place community relations plans under State oversight.
The Illinois EPA has also greatly expanded the amount of interactive
environmental information available through the Internet, such as information
on drinking water supplies, cleanup sites and enforcement cases.
Affected Community Profile
The City of East St. Louis, formerly called Illinoistown, occupies the
extreme north-western corner of St. Clair County, and was organized as
a township the 6th day of June, 1820.
East St. Louis is an environmental justice community where 97.7% of
the population is African American with a median household income at
$21,324.00. As of the 2000 Census, there were 31,542 people, 11,178 households
and 7,668 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city
is 1.23% White, 97.7% African American. 0.19% Native American, 0.08%
Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, 0.55% from two
or more races, and 0.73% Hispanic or Lationo of any race.
Post-war industrial abandonment led to loss of blue-collar jobs; white
households moved out in large numbers and the population reduced by over
half. With shrinking tax rolls, local government has abandoned many services
that are commonplace in other communities. Employed residents continue
move to communities that provide these basic amenities, and population
loss and distress continue.
The distress is very evident. Over half the residents live below the
poverty level, and unemployment is around twice the state and national
average. Almost two-thirds of the children in school are eligible for
a free or reduced-price lunch. Many have elevated lead levels in their
blood stream that affects their ability to learn and develop. East St.
Louis has a large aging housing stock. A large percentage of the housing
stock has lead contamination. East St. Louis has high risk areas where
children have shown elevated blood lead levels. Most of the lead exposure
to children come from lead paint (dust). Children from lower income families
tend to have higher blood lead levels. Many residents are victims of
predatory lending practices that keep them from home ownership and deeper
The East St. Louis Residential Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative establishes
a collaborative and coordinated effort between the Illinois EPA, East
Side Health District, St. Clair County Inter-Governmental Grants Department/Community
Development and other partners. This outreach and training initiative
will leverage the on-going programs at the local level, which will maximize
use of local resources and will reduce duplication of efforts.
Examples of leveraged activities include the Illinois EPA will provide
lead paint sampling assistance by using a x-ray fluorescent sampling
device. The East Side Health District will accept requests from community
to provide lead blood sampling for children. The St. Clair County Inter-governmental
Grants Department will accept applications from community members lead
The East St. Louis Residential Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative will
focus public awareness programs addressing child lead poisoning in an
Environmental Justice (EJ) community. The Illinois EPA had adopted Environmental
Justice policies that are based on the principle that all citizens of
Illinois should be protected from environmental pollution and has the
right to a clean and healthy environment, regardless of their race or
The Illinois EPA supports this principle by ensuring equity in the administration
of the state’s environmental programs, with adequate opportunities
for meaningful public involvement in developing, implementing, and enforcing
environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To support this goal,
the Illinois EPA formed an EJ Advisory Group to assist us in developing
and adopting Environmental Just policies, including an EJ public participation
policy, internal procedures for responding to EJ concerns and complaints,
and an EJ grievance procedure. The Illinois EPA also established an Environmental
Justice Officer, which serves as a liaison between citizens and communities,
and Agency staff. The EJ Officer coordinates and facilitates EJ activities
on behalf of the Illinois EPA, with the advice of the EJ Advisory Group
and will serve as the project leader for this grant.
The East St. Louis Residential Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative will
provide community outreach on residential lead paint contamination and
proper handling and abatement throughout the City of East St. Louis.
The cooperative agreement will address Section 8001(a) of the Solid Waste
Disposal Act by conducting and promoting the coordination of research
and investigations related to the health and welfare effects of exposure
to residential lead contamination and Section 10(a) of the Toxic Substances
Control Act by using data on blood testing and research activities to
develop an outreach plan and public public education program to educate
the public on the causes and prevention of lead poisoning. The overall
mission of the collaborative is to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.
The East Side Health District currently provides lead blood screening
in children and the St. Clair County Grants Department currently administers
a program for residential lead abatement.
The East St. Louis Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative will host twelve
community health forums each year to provide information on the hazards
of lead paint and the proper procedures for abating lead paint contamination.
The location of the 12 community health forums will be held at different
locations and on weekends throughout East St. Louis in order to reach
the residents in impacted neighborhoods as defined by environmental and
lead screening data. Community residents will be able to gain knowledge
regarding the hazards of lead contamination and where to go for blood
lead screening. Community residents will be able will be able to gain
knowledge regarding the hazards of lead contamination and how to prevent
childhood lead poisoning.
The East St. Louis Lead Paint Outreach Collaborative will also provide
training to community members to provide them with the knowledge and
skills necessary for effective collaborative assistance in the EJ partnerships
and the Lead Paint Outreach initiative. A group of ten young adults from
the community will be trained in lead safe work practices. This will
give them life skills that can be used for employment opportunities.
Community residents will also have the ability to sign up for the residential
lead abatement program offered by the St. Clair County Inter-Governmental
Applicant's Connection to the Affected Community
The Illinois EPA has been very involved and active in remediating environmental
hazards in the City of East St. Louis. The remediation has included used
tire removals, removal of illegal dumps, remediation of contaminated
industrial sites, lead screening and Brownfield redevelopment.
In 1999, the Illinois EPA, in parnership with USEPA and the Illinois
Department of Public Health, formed a City-Wide Lead Contamination Task
Force to investigate industrial sites in East St. Louis. Over 1,600 children
in East St. Louis were discovered to have elevated blood lead levels.
Twenty sites were investigated and 11 properties were identified with
elevated lead levels in the soil. These 11 properties were remediated.
Since 2006, the Illinois EPA has cleaned up a total of fourteen open
dump sites in East St. Louis. A total of 6,103 tons of household garbage,
plastics, glass, demolition debris and tires were removed. The Illinois
EPA has spent $520,668 removing used tires for East. St. Louis. In addition,
the Illinois EPA has awarded approximately $300,000 in Brownfield grants
for cleanups and assessments.