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EPA to give out largest grant awards for environmental justice in its history

EPA Administrator Michael Regan at a press conference on PFAS in 2021.
Courtesy of U.S. EPA
EPA Administrator Michael Regan at a press conference on PFAS in 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will give out the most grant funding for environmental justice the agency has ever offered. Unlike some other grants, state and local governments will have to work with community-based nonprofits to get that money — and some will go to those nonprofits directly.

The $100 million in funding could address everything from making communities more resilient to flooding to monitoring air pollution from factories nearby. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said communities know their issues better than anyone else does.

“All of these communities have the opportunity to describe the problems on the ground that they’re facing and apply for these resources to help partner with state, local, and federal governments to help solve those problems," he said.

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The EPA will give special consideration to projects that address climate change or disaster preparedness, benefit rural areas or conduct health impact assessments.

The agency will hold two online meetings this month to answer questions about the grant process — one on the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program on Jan. 24 and one on the Environmental Justice Government-to-Government Program on Jan. 26.

Contact reporter Rebecca Thiele at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Rebecca Thiele covers statewide environment and energy issues.