For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced a $49,999 grant to the University of North Carolina Charlotte to preserve and enhance the environment in Gaston County through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program. Across the state, Attorney General Stein will award nearly $3 million in grants to 27 grantees in 2021.
The grant will go to help UNC Charlotte increase local communities’ awareness of groundwater contamination found in private wells so they can protect the quality of their groundwater.
“Clean drinking water is essential to our health and quality of life,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m hopeful that this grant will help people in Gaston County test their well water and give us a better understanding of their water quality issues.”
“In rural Gaston County, more than 35,000 households draw their water from unregulated private wells,” said Éric Delmelle, UNC Charlotte geographer. “Very few residents do frequent testing for water contamination, in large part because they are not aware of the need and because of the cost. Our team of researchers, students and health officials mapped the wells and built a database of well water quality in a previous “Healthy Wells” project funded by the Centers for Disease Control. This new project will educate homeowners and renters on the need to test their well water and will create tools so they can share their test findings. By essentially crowdsourcing the data, the residents can access time-sensitive groundwater risk maps and other information to protect themselves and their communities.”
About the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program
The Environmental Enhancement Grant program began after an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to be distributed among environmental projects across North Carolina. Including the 2021 grants, the Attorney General Office’s has awarded nearly $37 million to more than 190 projects in the state.
In 2021, Attorney General Stein has announced the following EEG grant in addition to the above: