and the organic solvents in which they are mixed. In addition, such groups may have enhanced vulnerability to pesticides due to underlying nutritional deficiencies or concomitant health problems often associated with poverty.

Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda

NIEHS is participating to help support the Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda, a public, private, and community initiative to redevelop brownfields into safer living areas. Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by environmental contamination. These areas are not as toxic as Superfund sites but still face immense barriers to their redevelopment. Although brownfields are typically found in urban areas, they are prominent in rural areas as well. A large proportion of medically underserved and economically disadvantaged citizens reside near brownfields.

Mississippi Delta Project

The Mississippi Delta Project is a collaborative effort of government, academia, grassroots organizations in communities, and local and state health agencies to address environmental contamination in the Mississippi Delta Region, one of the poorest regions in the country and a region that is greatly affected by environmental pollution. NIEHS works with other federal agencies to identify key environmental hazards, promote environmental quality, and reduce and, where possible, prevent these hazards from affecting the health and environment of residents.

Working in collaboration with ORMH, NIEHS has initiated the Columbia Project, a community outreach program of the Mississippi Delta Project. This is a community-based effort to augment community participation and involvement in decisions concerning the environmental health of residents in the Delta Region. A Needs Assessment Workshop to identify demonstration projects in the Delta Region was held in February 1998 and included representatives from federal agencies, state and local health departments, HBCUs, grassroots organizations in communities, and health care professionals.

Institutional Capacity Building

NIEHS has supported several programs designed to enhance environmental health research and training capacity in underserved populations. NIEHS has initiated a series of planning activities organized through HBCUs



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