The East Austin Environmental Initiative (EAEI) was created in the Fall of 1993 to address environmental issues in the area of Austin east of IH-35. The increase in environmental activism and awareness in the eastern region of the City, as well as the desire to maintain equity throughout the City has highlighted the need for this effort. The Initiative was originally established as a cooperative effort of 4 Watershed Protection Department (WPD) programs; the Spills & Complaints Response Program (SCRP), the Stormwater Discharge Permit Program (SDPP), the Stormwater Monitoring Program (SWMP), and the Austin Brownfields Initiative. The Initiative originally had a budget of approximately $340,000. In July of 2007 the SWMP retracted from the program citing fiscal restraints. Currently, there are 6 EAEI team members: 2 from the SCRP, 2 from the SDPP, 1 from the Brownfields Initiative, and 1 from Water Quality Education.
Initially, the EAEI focused activities in central East Austin, in the area north of Lady Bird Lake, east of IH-35, south of US 290 and west of US 183. In FY 97-98, the focus area was expanded to include areas south of the river and further north as well. This allowed coverage of most of what is traditionally considered “East Austin”. In FY 10-11, it was further expanded and today the Initiative focus area is bounded by IH-35 on the west, Ben White Blvd. on the south, Hwy. 183/Walnut Creek on the east, Hwy. 183 on the north and also along Hwy 71 East in Del Valle up to FM 973 South.