Tuesday, October 24, 2023

EPA Awards $5.3 Million For Environmental Justice Projects In PA Communities

On October 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $5,328,827 in grants to fund eight projects across Pennsylvania that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. 

The organizations, which EPA has selected through its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government programs, will use the funds to ensure disadvantaged communities that have historically suffered from underinvestment have access to clean air and water and climate resilience solutions in alignment with the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative. 

“No President has invested more in environmental justice than President Biden, and under his leadership we’re removing long standing barriers and meaningfully collaborating with communities to build a healthier future for all,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Together, these community-driven projects will improve the health, equity, and resilience of communities while setting a blueprint for local solutions that can be applied across the nation.”

“This funding to Pennsylvania is another example of how the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in our most vulnerable places and the governments that serve them,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.  “Everyone deserves a future with clean water, climate resiliency, and most importantly – a government that has the best interest of its communities front of mind.”

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Program

EPA’s EJCPS program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working to address local environmental or public health issues in their communities. 

EPA EJCPS grant selections in Pennsylvania include the following:

-- Clean Water Fund in Philadelphia has been selected to receive $500,000 to address lead exposure in underserved communities suffering from lead poisoning that originates from multiple sources.

-- John Bartram Association in Philadelphia has been selected to receive $500,000 to strengthen the community’s climate resilience and build long-term environmental sovereignty and justice in a historically underserved neighborhood.

-- Nueva Esperanza, Inc. in Philadelphia has been selected to receive $500,000 for its Hunting Park Community-Led Climate Resilience and Empowerment Project to improve climate resiliency against disproportionate impacts of heat in this low-income community.

-- Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance in Shamokin, Kulpmont, Coal Township has been selected to receive $500,000 to establish a brick-and-mortar presence in their community, pool available resources, and collaborate across several organizations to better serve their community and its interests.

Environmental Justice Government-to-Government

EPA’s EJG2G provides funding at the state, local, territorial, and Tribal level to support government activities in partnership with community-based organizations that lead to measurable environmental or public health impacts in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms.

EPA EJG2G grant selections in Pennsylvania include the following:

-- Department of Environmental Protection has been selected to receive $1,000,000 to create an expandable, manageable, and sustainable program that will proactively engage communities to better understand their concerns before there is an event of concern and provide communities with the necessary tools to help address environmental issues in advance of a crisis.

-- City of McKeesport has been selected to receive $1,000,000 to expand four existing environmental programs that address stormwater management, air pollution, urban heat islands, and lack of greenspace.

-- City of Philadelphia has been selected to receive $1,000,000 to institutionalize environmental justice within its municipal policies and practices.

-- Allegheny County has been selected to receive $328,827 to improve climate preparedness for the 38 environmentally burdened communities in the county and incentivize environmental justice communities to create resiliency strategies.

To learn more, visit EPA’s Environmental Justice webpage.

Related Article:

-- DEP Adds 3 More Hearings On Interim Final Environmental Justice Permit Review Policy  [PaEN]

[Posted: October 24, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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