COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP

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Michael W. Burns Senior Advisor to the Regional Administrator Environmental Protection Agency (Region 4)

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COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP) • BACKGROUND
• Executive Order 12898 mandates the need for federal agencies to look at the negative and disparate federal programs and policies may have on minority and low income populations and how to address such effects, where appropriate. However, at Region 4, we wanted to do more. • In EPA Region 4, an opportunity to employ this concept materialized at a meeting in Hayneville, AL, an African-American community (84%) with a population 1,080, and income level 60% below the state average. • At the Hayneville meeting, the Mayor spoke of how her community suffered from significant infrastructure issues, but they did could not apply for the larger federal grants due to the lack of a financial audit that met the federal requirements, which they could not afford to acquire due to the cost ($25,000).  As EPA reached out to more communities in the Region, we saw this issue as a significant burden for poor underserved communities to access the federal grant applications process. • As we reached out to more communities in the Region to ask them what they needed to improve the quality of life in their community, a number of significant issues were identified. • We designed a program to reach out to local collages and universities to provide assistance to these communities at not cost to the communities (CUPP)

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COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP) PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
 Designed to promote collaboration of local educational institutions with small, rural, or otherwise underserved communities with collaborative support from government agencies. The program provides creative approaches to delivering technical assistance to address environmental, health, and sustainability challenges, which are beyond the singular capacity of these communities.
 Leverages EPA Region 4’s existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in the Majority Academic Institutions Program, as well as partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Promotes interagency collaboration (federal, state, local, and tribal) with community input and participation. It encourages agency mission related objectives to support the effort with core curriculum objectives of local colleges and universities, where appropriate. Promotes the “Collaborative Problem-Solving” Model developed by the IWG (and exemplified in EPA’s C.A.R.E. program) in addressing environmental justice, health, and sustainability issues in these communities.

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COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP) PROGRAM BENEFITS
• Use of a creative, collaborative effort between underserved communities and local colleges and universities provides technical support to underserved communities at no cost to the communities. • Students benefit by utilizing their learned curriculum to gain practical experience that can serve as a resume builder, while earning course credit(s) through their academic institution. • Communities benefit from the investment of innovative technical assistance and approaches provided by top students, supervised by faculty, who are attending academic institutions in the southeast. • Federal agencies benefit by seeing an improvement in the effective and efficient use of resources, since underserved communities have a consistent source of technical assistance and planning.

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COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP) PROGRAM PARTNERS
Academic Institutions • Participation from seven schools in three Region 4 states: • Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee • State/Local Government • Participation from 13 rural communities in three EPA Region 4 states • Support from Regional Coastal Commission in the State of Georgia

Currently partnering with the following Federal Departments/Agencies: • U.S. Department of Energy • U.S. Department of Interior (National Park Service) • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Rural Development) • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP)
PROGRAM EXAMPLES
• Tuskegee University/Alabama State University/EPA and National Parks Service Partnership on developing alternate transportation along the Selma to Montgomery Trail to address issues of air pollution, food deserts and access to medical treatment. • Georgia Southern partnership with the City of Darien to develop a solar still project to dry out sewage sludge to reduce the cost and environmental impact of disposal. • Tennessee State University partnership with the City of Pleasant View to conduct an engineering analysis of the city storm water system to determine ways to reduce the impact of an increase in flood waters due to increased development. • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College working with the cities of Ocilla and Ashburn to redevelop old abandoned industrial sites.
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COLLEGE/UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (CUPP)

Students from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College surveying the City of Ashburn, GA. for economic development opportunities.

Students from Clark Atlanta University at City Hall in the City of Lithonia, GA drafting a business analysis of a potential annexation issue, to include consideration of a brown field site

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