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.”
“These projects will advance a wide variety of projects across our states and tribes, including efforts that will improve climate resilience, healthy indoor environments, sustainable energy use, and water and air quality, in places that need them most,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “I look forward to seeing our grant recipients make progress on the opportunities they’ve identified to enhance the health of their communities.”
The EPA has selected the following organizations in Colorado, Montana and Utah to receive EJSG and EJCPS funding:
- Groundwork Denver (Denver, CO)
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (Towaoc, CO)
- Rocky Mountain Sustainable L.A. (Fort Collins, CO)
- DeSmog Denver (Denver, CO)
- High Country C.C. (Summit County, CO)
- Indigenous Vision – Blackfeet Nation (Missoula, MT)
- Climate Smart Missoula (Missoula, MT)
- Utah Clean Cities (Salt Lake Valley, UT)
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (Flathead, MT)
- Utah Clean Energy (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (Salt Lake County, UT)
The 2021 EJ Small Grants selections will benefit communities in 37 states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. These 99 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.
Small Business Environmental Grant Program
Also, in support of President Biden’s Executive Orders (EO) 13985 and 14008 , the EPA has for the first time created a designation exclusively for small nonprofit organizations, defined as having 10 or fewer full-time employees. The next grant cycle for 2022 has not yet been announced, but the program is expected to expand across local communities.
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. Eighty-three of the organizations receiving an EJ Small Grant this year are small nonprofit organizations.
In addition, seven 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.
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@example.com. Follow us on Twitter: @EPAEnvJustice.