A Environmental Justice & Public Health Committee Announcements

  Next National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call: January 25, 2022 

EPA invites Environmental Justice (EJ) advocates to participate in the next National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call taking place on January 25, 2022 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time). These calls are free and open to the public. 

Registration Link:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/epa-natl-environmental-justice-community-engagement-call-jan-25-2022-registration-238556217067 

The purpose of these calls is to inform the community and other stakeholders about EPA's EJ work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with EJ advocates. This call will touch on upcoming grant funding and technical assistance as well as regional listening sessions on a draft strategy to address lead exposures and disparities in communities. 

Please email [email protected] by January 20, 2022 to request reasonable accommodation for a disability or interpreter services in a language other than English, so that you can participate in the call and/or to request a translation of any of the event documents into a language other than English. 

For more information about the National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Calls, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

Recordings and meeting materials for all calls are posted here: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/national-environmental-justice-community-engagement-calls

For up-to-date information about Environmental Justice funding opportunities, events, and webinars, subscribe to EPA's Environmental Justice listserv by sending a blank email to: [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter: @EPAEnvJustice

  EPA Announces $14.1 Million to Fund 133 Environmental Justice Grants 

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $14.1 million in environmental justice (EJ) grant funding for 133 grants selected through the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) and Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement (EJCPS) programs. Ninety-nine EJ Small Grant recipients have been selected to receive up to $75,000 each, and 34 EJCPS grant recipients have been selected to receive up to $200,000 each, following successful completion of the award process. The majority of these EJ grants are receiving funds appropriated through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). 

“President Biden has made it clear that delivering environmental justice is a top priority for this Administration, especially in communities most gravely impacted by the pandemic and health outcome disparities from pollution,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan. "Thanks to the President and Congress, today’s environmental justice grants funded in large part by the American Rescue Plan will provide critical support to our most overburdened and vulnerable communities.” 

The 2021 EJ Small Grants selections will benefit communities in 37 states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico. These ninety-nine projects, many funded through ARP, cover a wide array of environmental justice issues including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, air monitoring, indoor/outdoor air quality, food access, community planning, water treatment training, community agriculture, green jobs and infrastructure, emergency preparedness and planning, toxic exposures, water quality, and healthy homes projects. 

Also, in support of President Biden’s Executive Orders 13985 and 14008, EPA has for the first time created a designation exclusively for small nonprofit organizations, defined as having 10 or fewer full-time employees. This effort reflects the President’s Justice40 Initiative defined in EO 14008 and ensures that grant resources reach organizations of lower capacity that historically struggle to receive federal funding. 83 of the organizations receiving an EJ Small Grant this year are small nonprofit organizations. 

In addition, 7 EJ Small Grants will support EPA’s Ports Initiative by addressing air quality issues at coastal ports, inland ports, and rail yards. These projects help prepare community stakeholders to effectively engage with operators and other stakeholders of nearby port or rail facilities to influence decision-making that may impact diesel engine emissions and related air quality. 

To see the full listing of all 99 organizations receiving an EJSG and to learn more about EJSG, visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program 

The 2021 EJ Collaborative Problem-Solving selections will benefit communities in 24 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These 34 projects address a breadth of environmental justice issues including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, air monitoring, indoor/outdoor air quality, community education, EJ tool development, green jobs and infrastructure, food access, emergency preparedness and planning, toxic exposures, land reuse, water quality, and support of healthy homes. 

To see the full listing of all the selected 34 EJCPS projects and to learn more about EJCPS, visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-justice/environmental-justice-collaborative-problem-solving-cooperative-agreement-0

Examples of EJSG and EJCPS projects selected for funding through ARP include:

  • Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP) in Birmingham, AL will deploy digital air sensors in the community to analyze the levels of particulate matter emitted from several industrial sources in the area, train residents to report air quality incidents, and address the urban heat island effect. (EJSG)
  • Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision Project will address diesel emissions at the Port of Detroit, MI and Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal facilities by forming collaborative partnerships between community residents, representatives, and port operators to address community concerns. (EJSG)
  • Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness will expand Environmental Health Worker services to aid in limiting the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on five indigenous groups of Wabanaki Native Americans in Bangor, Maine. (EJCPS)
  • Pioneer Bay Community Development Corporation will address indoor housing environments and other community-identified environmental challenges in the Port St. Joe, Florida community, an area that has been severely impacted by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and severely damaged by hurricanes resulting in poor indoor air quality and drinking water quality. (EJCPS)

Background on the American Rescue Plan Appropriation to EPA

Earlier this year, EPA announced spending plans for the $100 million in ARP funding appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and health outcome disparities, with $50 million being designated to improve ambient air quality monitoring, and $50 million specifically designated for environmental justice to address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities through a range of local initiatives. 

Of this $50 million ARP appropriation for EJ, $4.1 million went to support 21 EJ projects under the State/Tribal/Local EJ Cooperative Agreement (SEJCA) awards program. The additional EJSG and EJCPS selections announced today will account for approximately $9.55 million of ARP funds with additional funding provided through regular annual appropriations to EPA. Upcoming ARP-funded EJ grant activities will be announced after the EJSG and EJCPS awards are finalized. 

To learn more about EJ at EPA, visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice 

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021. To learn more about ARP funding at EPA, visit: https://www.epa.gov/arp

For up-to-date information about Environmental Justice funding opportunities, events, and webinars, subscribe to EPA's Environmental Justice listserv by sending a blank email to: [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter: @EPAEnvJustice.

 

  Now Open: Environmental Justice Video Challenge for Students

Do you have creative ideas on how to use data and tools to identify environmental justice issues in communities? Join the challenge! EPA and its co-sponsors have launched this challenge to enhance communities’ capacity to address environmental inequities.

Learn more about the challenge and how to apply: https://www.epa.gov/innovation/environmental-justice-video-challenge-students

Also, join us on December 6, 2021 for an informational webinar on the Environmental Justice (EJ) Video Challenge for Students! This webinar is your opportunity to learn more about the challenge and ask questions.

Register for the December 6, 2021 webinar: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-ej-video-challenge-for-students-tickets-203381779377

The goals of the Challenge are to:  

  • Inspire students at accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. and its territories to work directly with communities in the identification and characterization of EJ challenges using data and publicly available tools, and
  • Help communities address EJ challenges and/or vulnerabilities to environmental and public health hazards using data and publicly available tools. 

In Phase 1, students will submit a video that demonstrates innovative approaches to identify and characterize an EJ issue(s) in a community using data and publicly available tools. Challenge winners will receive up to $20,000, as well as other additional benefits. Details on Phase 2 of the challenge will be shared at a later date.

 Phase 1 submissions are due April 1, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Any questions? Please contact: [email protected].  For up-to-date information about Environmental Justice funding opportunities, events, and webinars, subscribe to EPA's Environmental Justice listserv by sending a blank email to: [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter: @EPAEnvJustice.

 We’re Fighting for Environmental Justice in a Red State. We Need Congress to Do Its Part

BY GILDA COBB-HUNTER & HAROLD MITCHELL
 

   Environmental Justice Case Studies and leveraging of resources to implement Environmental Justice

REGENESIS PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS AND LEVERAGING REPORT (2000-2020)
A National Model of Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization Success MDB, Inc. and ReGenesis Community Development Corporation

 

   UPCOMING WEBINAR:


   

 

 

 

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