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The EPA is helping to fund the 'Dollar Lot Program.' Residents want more assistance to stop storm water runoff

Ann Thompson
South Cumminsville resident Valerie Glenn bought this lot next door to her house for $1 from The Port. She now needs to get it shored up so the dirt doesn't keep washing away and going down the sewer.

The Port's Beekman Corridor “Dollar Lot Program” helps to reduce neighborhood blight, but residents say it needs more funding to stop storm water runoff. In a separate Cincinnati event, the EPA announced it is giving Groundwork Ohio River Valley $75,000 to monitor the air and water in low-income neighborhoods.

Valerie Glenn paid one dollar for the small hilly lot next to the home she's lived in for 30 years. The Port's Beekman Corridor “Dollar Lot Program” helps to reduce neighborhood blight, but Glenn says there's a problem.

“You can see where the water came down. In fact, the whole middle of the lot next door has washed all the dirt and soil away, so it’s like the middle of the lot is gone,” she says.

The EPA's Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe got a first-hand look during a tour organized by Working in Neighborhoods and Communities United For Action. “What do you need to get this project going,” McCabe asks. “I need funding lady,” Glenn laughs.

She needs rain barrels and bioswale-where you dig a hole and fill it with something like gravel, say Cincinnati engineers. Right now she would have to pay for those green measures.

The “Dollar Lot Program,” was initiated by Beekman Corridor Housing Committee Chair Pamela Woods, who WVXU reported on in May, 2021. At the time, she was planning what to do with a vacant lot she purchased down the street from her. She showed McCabe plans for a children’s garden. The two also talked about how to prevent water runoff.

kids garden.jpg
Ann Thompson
(from left) EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe and South Cumminsville resident Pamela Woods. Woods is planning to turn her vacant lot into a place where children can grow fruits and vegetables.

EPA gives environmental justice grant to air-quality monitoring project in Cincinnati

At the Oyler Community Learning Center Tuesday, with Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval and EPA Deputy Administrator McCabe, the government showed its commitment to environmental justice. It handed over a $75,000 check to Groundwork Ohio River Valley.

The organization gathers data about air pollution in overburdened neighborhoods to reduce exposure. The money will fund the monitoring and help expand air and water quality education training for the Green Team Youth Employee Workforce.

Groundwork Ohio River Valley will train 100 youth employees and 10 neighborhood residents about air quality and monitoring techniques. The data will help create yearly air quality reports and incorporate them into neighborhood resilience plans to be adopted by Cincinnati City Council.

Groundwork’s Co-Executive Director Tanner Yess says, “There’s no better way to understand the impacts of Climate Change than learning from our frontline communities and building their power to fight it.”

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology