Posted by on November 21, 2023 12:41 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

EPA announces $2 billion in spending for towns and people hurt by pollution

A door on the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. EPA officials announced $2 billion in grants to fund environmental justice and climate justice programs under the Inflation Reduction Act. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

EPA announces $2 billion in spending for towns and people hurt by pollution

Breanne Deppisch November 21, 11:58 AM November 21, 12:25 PM Video Embed

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced the terms of a $2 billion environmental and climate justice grant program, part of the Inflation Reduction Act’s massive green spending allocation aimed at helping poorer towns and people harmed by pollution.

EPA officials said the grant program, authorized by the IRA’s “Investing in America” program, is the largest single investment in environmental justice history.


The grants will fund activities that fall under multiple categories, including climate resiliency and adaptation projects; efforts to mitigate climate and health risks, including from extreme heat, wildfires, and wood heating emissions; and facilitating the engagement of disadvantaged communities through state and federal advisory groups, workshops, and rulemakings, among other things.

“This is historic,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan told reporters Tuesday. “These community change grants will support local projects that deploy clean energy, strengthen climate resilience, and build capacity to help underserved communities tackle their unique and persistent environmental justice challenges.”

EPA officials said applications will be considered under two separate tracks, depending on the type of project and funds requested.

The first track, for community-driven investment projects, will award a total of $1.96 billion to up to 150 projects. The second track, “meaningful engagement for equitable governance,” is expected to award approximately $40 million for 20 projects, Regan said. An additional $200 million is set aside “specifically for technical assistance,” Regan said.

The application process will be open for one year, closing on Nov. 21, 2024, and applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Officials also identified five so-called target investment areas aimed at helping ensure communities with unique circumstances, geography, and needs can more equally compete for the funds.

Those areas include tribal areas, tribes in Alaska, the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands, disadvantaged unincorporated communities, and southern border communities.

Biden administration officials touted the grant program as a “game changing” effort that will directly fund local projects and community-based solutions.

“For far too long, communities that have borne the brunt of power plant and industrial pollution have been left out and left behind,” senior White House climate adviser John Podesta said Tuesday.


“The Inflation Reduction Act and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative change that,” Podesta added, primarily by helping people who “identify big challenges in their community, develop solutions that work locally, and implement them in a durable and effective way.”

Grant applications will be managed through EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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