Tag Archives: Eric Kirkendall

Richard Mabion interviews Diesel Health Project members on KKFI Community Radio

Kansas City, Kansas environmental justice activist Richard Mabion recently interviewed Leticia DeCaigny and Eric Kirkendall on KKFI community radio about the  history and involvement of the Moving Forward Network’s zero emissions campaign and the work of the Diesel Health Project in Kansas City, Kansas.

Diesel Health Project Lead Community Organizer Richard Mabion conducts interview on KKFI.
Diesel Health Project Lead Community Organizer Richard Mabion conducts interview on KKFI.

Both groups are working on reducing air pollution, particularly diesel exhaust, from freight facilities such as ports and rail yards.  Diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen, and is linked to cardiovascular disease, asthma, dementia, and a number of other diseases. 

DeCaigny, who grew up in the Argentine/Turner area, said she was unaware of the health problems of diesel exhaust until the Moving Forward Network hosted a toxic tour of areas around the BNSF Argentine Rail Yard,

DeCaigny said that monitoring she and other members of the Argentine Turner Good Neighbor Committee conducted found levels of diesel exhaust high enough to hospitalize a person a few days after exposure.  Mabion said that at one location the pollution levels were so high that they could be fatal.

Diesel Health Project Program Manager Eric Kirkendall prepares for interview.
Diesel Health Project Program Manager Eric Kirkendallco prepares for interview.

The interview provided information on the recent progress of both groups, similar issues across the country, and ways community members can get involved, such as by visiting the Zero Emissions Now campaign website and signing the petition.

Click here to listen to an abridged version of the interview.

By Ananda Bhatia, Diesel Health Project

DHP team attends EPA Grant Training

DHP Community Health Director Eric Aldape
DHP Community Health Director Eric Aldape in EPA EJ grant training class’.

On Feb. 15 and 16, members of the Diesel Health Project team had EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Training. The training included the requirements for their recently awarded grant, rules and regulations, and spending requirements.

“I think most important for me [to learn] was how to work effectively with the EPA folks it’s important to manage our grant properly,” DHP co-founder Eric Kirkendall said. “Meeting and getting to know the EPA EJ team was a plus.”

On the first day, the group – awardees from several cities in EPA Region 7 – attended a virtual training workshop at an EPA facility, where they shared information on their project and the progress they had made.

The second day of training, at EPA Regional Headquarters, began with a good session on the history of environmental justice and best practices and challenges of grants management.

At mid-day, Special guest Judge Arney Bland spoke before class attendees and EPA employees  about environmental justice and civil rights.  Afterward, EPA hosted a panel session including Diesel Health Project and other awardees.  To cap off an excellent event, EPA Environmental Justice Program Manager Althea Moses presented awards to DHP co-founder Richard Mabion and National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee chair Margaret May.

The day ended with more virtual training, where EPA experts presented on topics such as other grant programs and tools and techniques to use for grant management.

“They really reiterated that the EPA goal is to help us do a good job,” Kirkendall said. “They want us to succeed, so shared very useful information on what it takes to do that.”

By Ananda Bhatia, Diesel Health Project