LAMC-Related Grants

Dr. Sacoby Wilson

 

Health Effects of Locally-Generated Diesel-Exhaust Particulates
in a Model Port Community

Submitted: October 31, 2008 (Award decision: not funded)
Total Budget: $2,116,730
LAMC  Budget: $125,000 for community investigator (LAMC did not have a separate budget for this project)

  • Purpose:  to address critical gaps in scientific knowledge on impact that particulate matter (PM) has on air quality and health in communities near ports, using N. Charleston, SC as a model port community
  • Long term goal: to assess baseline and post-port expansion health burden resulting from exposure to air pollutants released as a result of port-related activities
  • Specific aims: to 1) increase scientific literacy and disseminate information on particulate matter exposure and related health outcomes through community-based research, education, and participatory research; 2) measure baseline PM and black carbon levels near port terminals and port-related activities in the Charleston region for human exposure assessment; 3) examine baseline relationships between exposure to PM and black carbon and respiratory health outcomes for populations who reside near port-related activities and peripheral industries in the Charleston region before the port expansion

Expected Results or Benefits. The proposed project promotes teaching, training and learning through the use of CBPR and participatory education and training. Community members will play substantial roles in each phase of this project. Researchers will work with local partners to build a collaborative partnership that will help increase the success of this application and future research applications. Community monitors will learn how to use the PM and black carbon monitoring equipment and collect data. This aspect of the proposed research will strengthen current partnerships between researchers, DHEC, and community organizations collaborating to address pollution and health issues in the NCC study area. Furthermore, these efforts will help communities that live close to port terminals, roadways with diesel truck traffic, other port-related activities, and peripheral industries increase their capacity to assess the impacts of these local pollution sources on public health and neighborhood quality of life. At the end of the project, community members will have continued access to equipment and data. The results will be widely disseminated at a series of outreach meetings, through community-led workshops, and local and national media, and results will become part of a community toolbox kit to address exposure to PM and black carbon and related health effects in port communities.  Information gained from this research will significantly increase our understanding of the spatial and temporal variation of human exposure to PM2.5, PM10, and black carbon levels in the study area before expansion of the Port of Charleston and have significant scientific and public health implications for other cities and regions burdened by pollution from port activities and heavily-trafficked transportation networks. This research will provide a framework for future studies to assess the impact of air pollution released near port terminals and port-related activities on air quality. The use of GIS and environmental monitoring will provide a better picture of the exposure profile of communities that neighbor port terminals and port-related activities and related health outcomes.

 

Charleston Area Pollution Prevention Partnership
(CAP)

Submitted: March 16, 2009
Total Budget: $299,820
LAMC Budget: $200,013

  • Goals:  The goals of this collaborative partnership are as follows: 1) Set community risk priorities; 2) Reduce local air pollution levels and related public health impacts; 3) Increase the involvement of local businesses in pollution prevention activities; 4) Provide leadership on the revitalization of LAMC neighborhoods and surrounding areas; and 5) Create a long-term sustainable community-based collaborative partnership.
  • Specific aims: Following the  CARE Roadmap, we will perform the following steps by Spring 2010 to organize available information on environmental and public health risks, prioritize concerns, and identify solutions: 1) The research and health workgroups led by SC DHEC and Dr. Wilson will collaborate to map all pollution risks in the project area. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be used as a primary tool during the prioritization process. The EPA EJ Mapper tool will be used to provide information on the spatial distribution of industrial facilities in relation to different populations in the CAP project area with a focus on EJ populations; ArcGIS 9.3 will also be used to map CAPs, HAPs, and disease data; and the EPA’s EJ SEAT tool will be used to provide hazard scores for census tracts in the Charleston area. 2) During Spring 2010, we will have a series of meetings to develop a CAP blueprint for implementing achievable solutions; the final product developed by CAP will be a plan of action supported by local residents and all CAP partners that prioritizes risk reduction activities.

 

Use of a Community-University Partnership
to Eliminate Environmental Stressors

Submitted: March 31, 2009
Total Budget: $1,215,541
LAMC Budget: $212,715

  • Purpose:Reaching findings with important implications for pollution prevention, risk reduction activities and strategies, and environmental health policy for economically disadvantaged and overburdened communities in the in the Charleston area.
  • Goal: Our long-term goal is to use a community-university partnership between the Low-Country Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) and the University of South Carolina (USC), the community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework, and collaborative problem solving model (CPSM) principles to address environmental injustice, public health, and revitalization issues in North Charleston, SC.
  • Specific Aims: 1) Assess the geographic distribution of pollution sources in North Charleston, SC, 2) Quantify levels of PM and heavy metals near industrial and non-point sources of pollution in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in North Charleston, SC, and 3) Increase community capacity to reduce exposure, prevent pollution, and improve public health through community-based outreach, education, and training.

Expected Results or Benefits.  The proposed project promotes teaching, training and learning through the use of CBPR, collaborative-problem solving, and participatory education, training, and action.  Community members will play substantial roles in each phase of this project.  Researchers will work with local partners to build a collaborative problem solving partnership using the foundation of the current partnership.  This will help increase the success of this application and future research applications.  Community monitors will learn how to use the PM and black carbon monitoring equipment and collect data and perform GIS analyses.  Local students will learn about environmental justice, pollution, and public health issues as part of a regional education campaign which should positively change their behaviors and exposures and create a new pipeline of leadership in the community to sustain the long-term efforts of LAMC to address environmental justice and public health issues. The use of CBPR and CPSM principles and methods will strengthen current partnerships between researchers, community-based organizations, SCDHEC, and other partners collaborating to address pollution and health issues in the Charleston region.  Furthermore, these efforts will help communities that live close to the incinerator, Superfund sites, heavily-trafficked highways, chemical plants, and port-related activities increase their capacity to assess the impacts of these local pollution sources on public health and neighborhood quality of life.  At the end of the project, community members will have continued access to equipment and data.  Information gained from this research will significantly increase our understanding of the spatial and temporal variation of human exposure to PM2.5, PM10, and black carbon levels in the study area and the cumulative impact of pollution sources on maximally exposed populations in the Charleston region.  The interdisciplinary, community-driven, multi-stakeholder collaboration may provide fresh ideas and perspectives on the topic of tracking and predicting human exposure to PM, black carbon, heavy metals, PCBs, and PAHs in and across multiple media and related health outcomes in environmental justice communities.  The benefits of successfully addressing our research objectives and questions will help policymakers at the EPA and in state and local governments; SC DHEC, county health officials and other health practitioners; overburdened populations and residents; and members of community-based organizations better track pollution levels in environmental justice communities and exposure and related health disparities and develop and use risk reduction and pollution prevention strategies to reduce exposure, improve public health, and neighborhood vitality and sustainability. This will be particularly true for policymakers who will use evidence from this study to advocate for pollution reduction activities in the region.

 

Challenge Grant: Charleston Area Research on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
(CHARGE)

Submitted: April 27, 2009
Total Budget: $987,902
LAMC Budget: $176,210

  • Purpose: helping to educate the public on climate change and public health issues, particularly disadvantaged residents and students from the North Charleston area and provide training opportunities for local unemployed and underemployed residents related to the green economy. 
  • Goal: to use an existing community-university partnership between the Low Country Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) and the University of South Carolina (USC) to address environmental injustice, the disproportionate burden of environmental hazards and pollution on marginalized populations and public health issues related to climate change in disadvantaged neighborhoods of color in Metropolitan Charleston.
  • Specific Aims: 1) to map distribution of air pollution sources and levels of GHG emissions in the Charleston area; 2) to assess the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions, heat stress, and respiratory health outcomes in the Charleston area; and 3) to educate the public about climate change, environmental injustice, and public health issues and train residents on adaptation and mitigation approaches for the Charleston area.  

Expected Results or Benefits.  The proposed project promotes teaching, training and learning through the use of participatory education and training.  Researchers will work with local partners to use CBPR that will help increase the success of this application and future research applications.  These efforts will help communities that live close sources of GHG emissions increase their capacity to assess the impacts of these local pollution sources on public health and neighborhood quality of life.  The results will be widely disseminated at a series of outreach meetings, through community-led workshops, and local and national media, and results will become part of a community toolbox kit to address climate change through education, outreach, and the green economy .These efforts will support the goals of the SC CECAC report and follow the recommendations of the report including educating vulnerable populations about climate change, developing new educational curricula, and helping with job training in the green economy to reduce GHG emissions. This research will provide a framework for future studies to use CBPR and community-university partnerships to assess the impact of climate change and environmental injustice on other disadvantaged communities and an education, outreach, and training model that can be used to increase community awareness, build capacity to address these issues, and empower impacted communities.

 

EPA STAR Grant: Community-Based Cumulative Risk Assessment of Environmental and Social Stressors in Metropolitan Charleston, SC

Submission Date: June 17            
Total Budget: $1.25 million
LAMC Budget: $200,000
Purpose:

  • To conduct a community-based cumulative risk assessment examining air, soil, and water contamination to determine if environmental exposure disparities exist between two communities in metropolitan Charleston.
  • Quantify the differential burden of pollution on residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods in metropolitan Charleston by collecting biomarker data.
  • Increase community capacity to address pollution sources and public health issues through action-based solutions, outreach, education, and training.

Approach: A research team comprised of academics, community members, and key stakeholders will develop a model to assess cumulative risks of multiple stressors among communities of different racial/ethnic and economic composition. We will develop a new method of assessing cumulative risk by integrating social determinants and a community-based participatory research framework in our analysis. The objectives will be accomplished by:

  • Analyzing data on air, soil, and water pollution sources.
  • Performing Multiple Regression analysis and GIS assessment of pollution sources.
  • Collecting and analyzing biological data assessing allostatic load, heavy-metal, PCB, and dioxin body burden among community residents.
  • Work closely with the community to disseminate results, rally around community resources to devise action-based solutions, and effect policy change.  

Expected Results: This project will serve as a community needs assessment by which residents can identify key chemical and nonchemical stressors that compound vulnerability to environmental exposures and provide a collaborative framework in which they can collectively derive action-based solutions toward recovery, mitigation, prevention, and policy change strategies. This project will be significant by filling the gap on vulnerability factors that amplify environmental exposure disparities in disadvantaged overburdened communities and how race and SES modify the influence that social stressors have on an individual and community’s response to pollution.