Connecting state and local government leaders
The Environmental Protection Agency announcement is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to fight climate change and curb environmental harm in long-neglected communities.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invited states, cities, community organizations and tribal nations Tuesday to apply for $100 million in federal grants to advance environmental justice initiatives.
The funds, provided under last year’s landmark climate package, will be administered across two programs and represent “the largest investment for environmental justice grants ever offered” by the agency, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a call with reporters.
The funding advances the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to direct 40% of overall benefits from certain federal investments toward long-neglected communities that often bear the brunt of the health and environmental fallout from industry and climate change.
The Environmental Justice Government-to-Government Program will administer $20 million each to states, local governments, and federally recognized tribal nations. All applicants must partner with community-based organizations to be considered for the grants. An additional $10 million will be awarded to U.S. territories and tribes that have limited access to community organizations.
In total, the EPA expects to allocate up to $1 million for 70 projects that span three years that will, among other things, conduct home audits for lead, create health education programs, and monitor water quality, according to the agency.
The second program, called the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program, will send $30 million to community-based nonprofits.
Special consideration will be given to projects that focus on climate change, disaster resiliency, and emergency preparedness; initiatives in rural areas; and projects that will conduct health-impact assessments, according to a release from the agency.
“Those who are experienced in environmental justice challenges know their community's concerns better than anyone else,” Regan said, “and these awards will enable local organizations to partner with stakeholders in order to develop and implement the most effective and resilient solutions."
The deadline to apply for funding is April 10. The agency expects to announce winners in the fall, and grantees should plan to begin their projects Oct. 1.
Molly Bolan is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.
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