Quiet Communities wins community innovator grant

Photo credit: Luis Quintero

by Quiet Communities staff 

Quiet Communities is one of 12 winners of the Phase 1 Environmental Justice Community Innovator Challenge award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. QC will receive $25,000 to design and plan a “Quiet Empowerment Toolkit” to help economically disadvantaged communities address noise issues. The national award competition is designed to uplift community voices and seek solutions in the realm of environmental justice.

“This funding can help Quiet Communities develop programs to help address the serious impacts environmental justice and other communities experience from unwanted, and in some cases, unnecessary noise,” said Rick Reibstein, QC Quiet Empowerment program chair. “This problem has persisted unaddressed for too long and too many people have suffered for too long.”

The Quiet Empowerment Toolkit will build on QC’s decade of experience addressing inequalities in environmental justice communities where issues like excessive noise from highways, trains, airports, industrial sites and other loud sources disproportionately affect health and well-being. Residents often lack input in decisions that impact their daily lives. The toolkit will support community-driven efforts to address these environmental health disparities and promote equity.

The toolkit will include evidence-based data and information on how noise impacts physical and mental health; methods and means to measure and report noise levels and associated impacts; tools to self-organize and advocate for solutions; and information on enforcement, policy and legal opportunities. 

The harmful impacts of noise on public health have been recognized for more than 50 years, but abandonment of the EPA’S Office of Noise Abatement and Control in 1982 halted progress on education, research and product regulation. Like other types of environmental pollution, the impacts of noise disproportionately affect socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, which often face multiple environmental challenges, including the inability to access resources and advocate for solutions.

QC’s work over the last decade has shown that noise-impacted communities share needs for information and tools to help residents organize and advocate for change. This grant will make it possible to build on QC’s experience in supporting these communities as they fight noise pollution.  

For more information, please contact QC Executive Director Tricia Glass at [email protected]

Share this article:

Article Categories

Search Articles