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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $550 Million to Advance Environmental Justice

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $550 Million to Advance Environmental Justice

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EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program will invest in America, expedite investments to reduce pollution in disadvantaged communities

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the availability of $550 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to expedite investments through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) program. This new, innovative program will fund up to 11 entities to serve as grantmakers to community-based projects that reduce pollution. Selected grantmakers will develop an efficient, simplified process so that organizations that historically have faced barriers to receiving funding can more seamlessly apply for grants that address environmental harms and risks.

The new program advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government commitment to achieving environmental justice by building early, meaningful, and sustained partnerships with communities.

“Over the last two years I’ve traveled to overburdened and underserved communities and their message to me has been clear – residents have suffered far too long without access to crucial federal funding and resources,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic investments in America, including the largest ever investment in environmental justice, we’re removing barriers and moving faster to deliver this unprecedented relief to the communities who need it most.”

See related article: U.S. EPA to Set Tougher Heavy Duty Emissions Rules in 2023

The entities eligible to apply under this Request for Applications (RFA) and serve as an Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaker fall into four categories. They include:  

  • A community-based nonprofit organization;
  • A partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations; 
  • A partnership between a Tribal Nation and a community-based nonprofit organization; or,  
  • A partnership between an institution of higher education and a community-based nonprofit organization. 

EPA intends to award up to 11 cooperative agreements under this RFA for up to approximately $50 million each to be funded incrementally over a 3-year period. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2023. EPA expects these grantmakers to begin awarding subgrants to community-based organizations no later than early 2024.

The EJ TCGM program will further the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments to disadvantaged communities that have been overburdened by pollution and historic underinvestment. EPA will continue to uphold the goals of the Justice40 Initiative by ensuring funds get to communities that have often been unable to access resources due to high barriers to entry.

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