Energy & Environment

Biden administration announces largest-ever funding opportunity for addressing environmental equality

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The offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

The Biden administration just announced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) largest-ever availability of funds aimed at addressing environmental inequity. 

The EPA said about $100 million would be available for projects around the country that are aimed at advancing equitable environmental outcomes for communities that are underserved or face disproportionate amounts of pollution. 

EPA Administrator Michael Regan told reporters on Tuesday that the grants it will dole out can address a range of issues including those related to drinking water, climate change impacts and pollution discharges from nearby facilities.

“All of these communities have the opportunity to describe the problems on the ground that they’re facing and apply for these resources,” he said. 

The funds will be split up across two grant programs, one for community-based nonprofit organizations and another for state, local, tribal and territory governments. Altogether the two programs are expected to fund 150 projects, the agency said. 

Studies have shown that communities of color face disproportionately high levels of pollution compared to their white counterparts. The Biden administration has said that it would seek to address this issue as it pursues climate and environmental actions. 

A lot of the funding from Tuesday’s announcement comes from the Inflation Reduction Act — Democrats’ climate, tax and healthcare bill that passed last year.

Overall, the legislation provides the EPA with $3 billion in environmental and climate justice block grants directed toward goals like reducing pollution and mitigating climate risks. 

Regan told reporters that separating out the $100 million will help communities start planning so that they can apply for additional resources later on. 

He said the EPA would be announcing “additional grant opportunities in the months to come that will use the largest share” of the funds.

Updated at 1:32 p.m.

Tags Biden Environmental Protection Agency EPA Inflation Reduction Act Michael Regan

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