Coalition of Environmental Justice and National Groups Celebrates Equity Advances, Calls on Biden & Congress to Further Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice
Washington, D.C.

The appropriations process creates an historic opportunity to advance environmental and climate justice priorities supported by the Equitable and Just National Climate Platform (EJNCP).

Co-authors of the platform, a coalition of environmental justice and national environmental groups, issued this statement and fact sheet:

“For far too long, communities most impacted by the climate crisis and toxic pollution have had the fewest resources to address these injustices. We urge Congress to approve historic levels of funding for environmental justice in the appropriations process to provide these communities with the resources they need to address decades of inequity and improve lives and livelihoods. These investments will begin to help ensure that all communities can realize their right to breathe clean air, drink safe water, and live free from toxic legacy pollution.

“The EJNCP proposes at least $119 billion for programs addressing some of the dire needs in environmental justice communities across the country–communities facing environmental racism, economic inequality, high levels of toxic pollution and disproportionate impacts from climate change. This recommendation aligns with but goes even further than the president’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, which requested substantial funding to help low-income communities by providing affordable housing, home energy efficiency improvements, clean water, pollution reduction programs, and climate resilience assistance. This environmental justice funding request is reasonable and achievable, especially since non-defense spending, which includes funds for environmental justice, is significantly lower now than it was in 2010.

“Significant federal investment in environmental justice is vital to improving the health and safety of communities across the country, cutting energy costs, increasing access to good jobs, reducing pollution and tackling the climate crisis so that all people can live safe, healthy and prosperous lives. It will also help the administration meet President Biden’s goal to deliver at least 40% of the climate and infrastructure investment benefits to disadvantaged communities.”

A full list of the EJNCP environmental justice investment priorities in the ongoing appropriations process is below:

Clean Transportation and Goods Movement – $5.3 million

  • $150 million to reduce truck emissions at ports.
  • $150 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants.
    • FY22 appropriation: $92 million
  • $5 billion for EPA’s Clean School Bus program.

Environmental and Climate Justice and Pollution Reductions – $15.9 billion

  • $10 billion for the Environmental Management program to support the cleanup of communities used during the Manhattan Project and Cold War for nuclear weapons production.
    • FY22 appropriation: $7.58 billion
  • $321 million to remediate orphaned oil and gas wells and reclaim abandoned mine lands on Federal and non-Federal lands.
    • FY22 appropriation: $155 million
  • $1.8 billion for the Superfund program.
    • FY22 appropriation: $1.2 billion
  • $215 million for EPA’s Brownfields program.
    • FY22 appropriation: $90 million
  • $124 million for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) efforts.
    • FY22 appropriation: $98 million
  • $1 billion for grants to reduce the disproportionate health impacts of environmental pollution in EJ communities.
  • $670 million for a new Environmental Justice Community Grant Program for nonprofits.
  • $670 million for a new Environmental Justice State Grant Program for states.
  • $670 million for a new Tribal Environmental Justice Grant program for tribes.
  • $75 million for a new Community-based Participatory Research Grant Program for higher-ed institutions to form community partnerships to improve the health of EJ communities.
  • $350 million for EPA State and Tribal Assistance Program to eliminate lead, PCBs, and other legacy toxics in high-poverty public schools.
    • FY21 appropriation: $229 million
  • $4.36 million for the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
    • FY22 appropriation: $3 million

Pollution-free Energy and Energy Efficiency – $5.6 billion

  • $100 million to launch the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Advantage to retrofit low-income homes with efficient electric appliances and systems.
  • $500 million for DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program.
    • FY22 appropriation: $310 million
  • $4 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
    • FY22 appropriation: $3.78 billion
  • $800 million for LIHEAP Emergency Contingency Funds, which provide flexibility during natural disasters and other emergencies, including significant increases in the cost of home energy and disconnections.
  • Additional $200 million for the Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) of DOE: including $70 million for the State Energy Program, $25 million for community programs, and $105 million for Energy Future Grants. These programs provide technical assistance, capacity building, and community engagement for working with local partners to transition to renewable energy.

Clean Air – $1.57 billion

  • $100 million to support a new community air quality monitoring and notification program.
  • $10 million to support and implement EPA’s Clean Truck Plan.
  • $150 million to fund deployment and maintenance of continuous fence line air monitoring using the best available technology (including National Air Toxics Trend Stations) at the 100 highest priority industrial sources emitting hazardous air pollutants.
  • $705 million for the Clean Air and Climate program.
  • $18 million to ensure fenceline monitoring and continuous emission monitoring are core components of national emission standards for chemical, petrochemical, and other sources of fugitive toxic air pollution.
  • $75 million for a rapid expansion of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) or national ambient air monitoring network through the addition of at least 80 new NCore multipollutant monitoring stations in communities where this is most needed to protect people with asthma and other health conditions.
  • $3 million to deploy at least 1,000 new low cost air quality sensors in communities disproportionately affected by air pollution to boost and complement the NAAQS monitoring network and increase communities’ access to information about local air quality.
  • $8.8 million for the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET).
  • $500 million is needed for state and local air agencies, and at least $33 million for Tribal air agencies, to maintain their essential functions, including monitoring networks.

Clean Water – $8.03 billion

  • At least $2.75 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
    • FY22 appropriation: $1.64 billion
  • At least $2.75 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
    • FY22 appropriation: $1.13 billion
  • $1.5 billion through the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds to replace lead service lines, with a prohibition on partials.
  • $200 million to address PFAS contamination.
    • FY22 appropriation: $150 million
  • $100 million for EPA’s Decentralized Wastewater Program for construction and refurbishing of decentralized wastewater systems for individuals households with low or moderate income.
  • $500 million for the HHS Low Income Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).
  • $225 million for EPA’s Rural and Low-Income Water Assistance Pilot Program.

Affordable and Sustainable Housing – $66.1 billion

  • $25 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).
    • FY22 appropriation: $1.35 billion
  • $1.1 billion in targeted climate resilience and energy efficiency improvements in public housing, tribal housing, and other assisted housing.
  • $25 billion for affordable housing production grants.
  • $10 billion for reducing affordable housing barriers.
  • $5 billion for establishing a Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Housing Supply Fund.

Education and Workforce and Community Development – $7.6 billion

  • $3.8 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
    • FY22 appropriation: $3.5 billion
  • $331 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.
    • FY22 appropriation: $271 million
  • $3 billion for DOI programs covered under the Justice40 initiative, including tribal housing improvements, wildlife conservation grants, and energy infrastructure development in insular communities.
  • $100 million for the multi-agency POWER+ Initiative, which aims to assist displaced workers and transform local economies and communities transitioning away from fossil fuel production to new, sustainable industries.
    • FY22 appropriation: $65 million
  • $250 million to help Appalachian and Delta communities develop local and regional workforce development strategies that promote long-term economic stability and opportunities for workers, especially those connected to the energy industry.
    • FY22 appropriation: $225 million
  • $100 million to establish a Civilian Climate Corps program.
  • $20 million for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environmental Career Worker Training program.
    • FY21 appropriation: $10 million

Climate Resilience – $8.3 billion

  • $3.5 billion for DHS climate resilience programs, which includes $507 million for the flood hazard mapping program to incorporate climate science and future risks.
  • $4.8 billion for an affordability program for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Data Collection, Capacity Building, and Technical Assistance – $81 million

  • $40 million in new resources for capacity building assistance in areas of persistent poverty around DOE’s cleanup sites.
  • $31 million for the DOE Equitable Clean Energy Transition initiative to build capacity and provide technical assistance to help energy and environmental justice communities navigate and benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy.
  • $10 million for a new Environmental Justice Training Program at EPA to increase the capacity of residents of underserved communities.

Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability – $635.4 million

  • $34 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Economic Impact and Diversity for the Department’s Justice40 efforts and equity action plan.
  • $13 million for DOE’s Office of Legacy Management to strengthen its environmental justice mission.
  • $1.4 million to launch an Office for Environmental Justice at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • $6.5 million for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division’s work in securing environmental justice and combating the climate crisis.
  • $150 million for the EPA to investigate and ensure compliance with federal civil rights laws, which includes funding for staffing as well as funding to develop web content that provides a searchable database of civil rights petitions and information about compliance standards.
  • $213 million for EPA civil enforcement efforts, which includes funding to increase enforcement efforts in communities with high pollution exposure.
    • FY22 appropriation: $168 million
  • $69.5 million for EPA criminal enforcement efforts, which includes funding to increase outreach to victims of environmental crimes and to develop a specialized criminal enforcement task force to address environmental justice issues in partnership with the Department of Justice.
    • FY22 appropriation: $51.3 million
  • $148 million for compliance monitoring efforts, including funds to conduct inspections in underserved and overburdened communities.
    • FY22 appropriation: $102.5 million
  • Funding to create and hire a new and highly qualified EJ National Program Manager at EPA.

The Equitable & Just National Climate Platform celebrated its two-year anniversary on July 17, 2021. In 2019, signatories to the platform achieved consensus on a historic plan calling for national climate action that confronts racial, economic, and environmental injustice as it enacts deep cuts in climate pollution and accelerates a pollution-free energy future that benefits all communities. The co-authors included leaders from a dozen environmental justice organizations and six national environmental groups. Learn more.

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