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Environmental Justice Small Grants Program & EPA Ports Initiative

Utah Clean Cities and Communities Near-Port Communities Project

Utah Clean Cities and Communities was selected as an awardee of an EPA Environmental Justice
Small Grant (EJSG)  addressing port-related impacts and issues in Utah.

Supporting Near-Port Communities in Addressing Harmful Air Quality Impacts

With the development of the Utah Inland Port, major impacts on near-port and surrounding communities have been identified including:

  • Environmental: Air and water pollution, habitat destruction, impairment (and possible permanent loss), noise from construction and transportation and increased traffic impacts
  • Social: health, community and economic impacts

While these impacts will be felt throughout the entire Wasatch Front, these impacts will significantly impact the west side residents and densely populated communities that are within the surrounding areas of the port.

What Defines Near-Port Communities?

Near-Port Communities include communities that are within a 7 mile radius of the proposed Inland Port.

For this project specifically: Zip Codes: 84044, 84116, 84104

Near Port Short Films

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The Voices Of Hope - Utah Clean Cities

Utah Clean Cities and Communities hosted a film premiere to debut two collaborative films stemming from this project. These films illuminate the voices of affected residents, offering insight into community needs and igniting thought-provoking discussions.

Play Video

The Voices Of Hope - Spy Hop

We partnered with Spy Hop, a student digital media arts center, to spotlight first-hand accounts of community leaders, residents and students talking about air quality impacts from living in a serious nonattainment area under the EPA’s PM2.5 standard. The video also highlights the Climate of Hope exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah, which delves into the profound impacts of climate change on Utah’s landscape. It is a beacon of optimism, reminding us, it is not too late to cultivate a future where both humans and nature flourish.

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The Voices Of Hope - East Hollywood High

Students assembled thoughtful questions to present to our board members regarding community actions for improving air quality. Furthermore, they took initiative by launching their own air monitoring project, demonstrating a proactive commitment to environmental stewardship.

Project Outcomes

Listening session was held at VIVA church in Salt Lake City

What Does This Project Seek to Accomplish?

Utah Clean Cities and Communities aimed to engage and cultivate meaningful relationships with the community surrounding the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA): Northwest Quadrant project area. The goal of our involvement was to gather stories and experiences from residents that live within zip codes 84044, 84116 and 84104, who are most impacted by harmful air quality and uplift them to relay awareness to the UIPA staff as they plan for development within the Westside of the Salt Lake Valley.

How Will Goals Be Achieved?

  • Conducting a collective community needs assessment through surveys, public events, listening sessions, etc. The needs assessment will be coming soon. 
  • Developed public education materials and resources in the form of a website, posters, reports and videos. 
  • Partnered with Spy Hop and East Hollywood High school to create films that highlight Westside voices
  • Hosted listening sessions with community members and leaders
  • A community-supported steering committee of five near-port residents to direct overall project progress and facilitated the EPA Community Action Roadmap together. Check it out below!

Community Engagement and Leadership

By centering community voices, we seek to bring knowledge gained through this assessment to the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) to identify and address inequities currently experienced by near-port communities and support in providing resources toward building trust, connection, and solution-driven collaboration between the UIPA and these communities.

Partner Highlights

A heartfelt thank you to all our valued partners whose support was instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.

Community Steering Committee:
Bridget Shears
Emily Horton
Terrance Marasco
Lisia Satini
Thomas King

The Climate of Hope exhibit has provided and supported UCC with a place for us to connect, meet, and have discussions geared towards hopeful outcomes within the community

Track the Air Quality
in Your Community

Download the UtahAir app for quick air quality access

Utah Air Quality Apps

Want To Participate?

We need feedback from residents of zip codes:
84044, 84116, 84104

.Take the Community Inland Port & Emissions Survey


Community Engagement In Action: Case Study

Developing a Community Action Roadmap to Engage in Port of Wilmington Expansion

“The case study outlined below is an example of how one community group is working to empower and organize local residents to secure local environmental protections as part of a planned expansion project at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware. This case study was developed to share lessons learned that may inform other near-port communities with similar efforts.”

Source: EPA- Developing a Community Action Roadmap

Environmental Justice Small Grant Program & Ports Initiative

What is the EPA’s EJSG?

Since its inception in 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program has awarded more than $37 million in funding to communities facing environmental justice issues. All projects are associated with at least one qualified environmental statute.

The program is designed to support and empower communities and assist in communities understanding and addressing exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.

Source: EPA-Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

What is the EPA’s EJSG?

Since its inception in 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program has awarded more than $37 million in funding to communities facing environmental justice issues. All projects are associated with at least one qualified environmental statute.

The program is designed to support and empower communities and assist in communities understanding and addressing exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.

General Project Goals

Support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities.


2021 EJSG Ports Initiative Projects

EPA awarded grants for the following 2021 Ports Initiative Partnership EJSG projects that will prepare community stakeholders to effectively engage with operators and other stakeholders of nearby port or rail facilities. This preparation is intended to help communities influence decision-making on operations and projects that may impact diesel engine emissions and related air quality.

Source: EPA-2021 Environmental Justice Small Grants

The Utah project awarded for 2022 – 2024 is 1 of 7 ports focused projects selected by the EPA.

EPA & Environmental Justice

Want To Know More About Environmental Justice?

Find out more about the EPA’s definition of environmental justice and how it relates to ongoing projects, as well as learn more about available environmental justice resources.

Project Resources

Project Informational Printout

Brief PDF visual overview of project, with main details and contact information.

Ports Primer for Communities

An Overview of Ports Planning and Operations to Support Community Participation: Intended to help community members participate effectively in the decision-making process by increasing local understanding of, the role of ports, how ports can impact local land use, economic trends, air quality, and other aspects of the environment and quality of life,and tools and resources that have been helpful in other communities. Source: EPA- Ports Primer for Communities

Community Action Roadmap: Empowering Near-Port Communities

“Provides a step-by-step guide to help near-port communities effectively engage in port decisions that may impact local land use, environmental health, and quality of life.” Source: EPA- Community Action Roadmap

Ports Initiative

Through this ports partnership initiative, EPA supports efforts to improve efficiency, enhance energy security, save costs, and reduce harmful health impacts by advancing next-generation, clean technologies, and practices at ports. Source: EPA Ports Initiative

Community-Port Collaboration Toolkit

A resource from the EPA to “designed to help communities and ports develop collaboration skills and to enhance understanding of stakeholders’ priorities and challenges associated with port-related activities.” Source: EPA- Community-Port Collaboration Toolkit

Environmental Justice Primer for Ports

“Intended to help port decision-makers better understand the needs of near-port communities, how they can help address these needs, and build productive community relationships during planning activities and operations.” Source: EPA- Environmental Justice Primer for Ports

For more information or to get involved, contact EPA Project Manager Noemi Molina at

Have a Question?

Reach Out >

The Utah Clean Cities and Communities  Board of Directors and staff welcomes inquiries from interested community members, businesses and organizations. You’ll find our team helpful and inclusive. We look forward to helping you get started with the Utah Clean Cities and Communities membership, opening up involvement with one (or more) of our many programs or grants today!