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EPA Selects Kansas State University to Receive $4M in Grant Funding to Provide Technical Assistance to Tribal Nations and Entities Addressing Brownfields

EPA Air - Wed, 01/10/2024 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 10, 2024) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the selection of Kansas State University (KSU) to receive $4 million in grant funding over the course of five years to provide technical assistance and increase the capacity of tribal nations and entities to build sustainable brownfield programs; establish and enhance their Tribal Response Programs; and conduct and oversee brownfield assessment and cleanup activities.

This grant will enable KSU to provide technical assistance to federally recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, Alaska Native Regional Corporations, Alaska Native Village Corporations, the Metlakatla Indian community, and Intertribal Consortia upon request.

“Under this new grant, EPA reaffirms its commitment to supporting tribal nations and entities addressing brownfields,” said Cliff Villa, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “EPA is excited to continue working with tribal entities to clean up and revitalize brownfield sites across the country."

Recognizing that each tribe is an independent sovereign nation responsible for establishing environmental standards, policy, and managing environmental programs, EPA acknowledges that each tribal nation and entity faces unique challenges, many of which stem from similar environmental legacies. This cooperative agreement grant will support tribal communities in their efforts to tackle the challenges of assessing, cleaning up, and preparing brownfield sites for redevelopment.

KSU will create deliverables that align with tribal priorities, capacity, and goals, to address the following subject areas:

  • Brownfields Finance and Planning Strategies for Tribal Nations and Entities
  • Science and Technology Relating to Brownfields Assessment, Remediation, and Site Preparation for Safe and Resilient Reuse
  • Assist Tribal Nations and Entities in Understanding and Building Tribal Response Programs
  • Facilitate Storytelling and Promote Collaboration About Brownfields Reuse
  • Integrated Approaches to Brownfields Cleanup and Reuse

Learn more about EPA Brownfields funding.

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Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox to step down at EPA

EPA Air - Wed, 01/10/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — After serving three years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, today Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Radhika Fox announced that she will depart the agency at the end of February 2024.

Appointed by President Biden and confirmed with robust bipartisan support by the U.S. Senate, Assistant Administrator Fox spearheaded EPA’s successful agenda to protect American communities from water pollution while embedding equity and environmental justice across its Office of Water programs. Fox has led EPA’s effort to implement billions of dollars of funding secured by President Biden under his Investing in America agenda to tackle water pollution from lead and PFAS, while advancing regulations to ensure every American has access to clean and safe water and can enjoy America’s natural resources.

Assistant Administrator Fox is the first woman of color and the first person of Asian American descent to lead EPA’s Office of Water. 

“Radhika’s impact on protecting clean water for all will be felt across this country for decades to come,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Radhika’s vision, strategy, and tenacity to deliver on President Biden’s ambitious agenda has been nothing short of transformational. Radhika is the first woman of color to lead the Office of Water, a shining example of President Biden’s commitment to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the nation.”

“It has been the greatest honor of my career to lead the Office of Water under the incredible leadership of Administrator Regan and with a talented team of career leaders here in Washington and across our 10 EPA regions,” said Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox. “I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished to ensure that every American can rely on clean and safe water, which provides a foundation for healthy communities and thriving economies. The partnerships we’ve established, the science-based regulations we’ve issued, and the federal funding we’ve invested will benefit generations to come.”

At EPA, Assistant Administrator Fox was the driving force in implementation of the water pillar of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — which includes $50 billion in funding for water projects — the single largest federal investment in the water sector. Under Fox’s leadership, EPA has provided over $13 billion to states, territories, Tribes, and local communities, supporting over 2,600 water infrastructure projects. The full suite of water funding and financing programs have been a powerhouse delivering for the American people — over $45 billion in water funding has been deployed during her tenure.

Other highlights of Assistant Administrator Fox’s tenure include:

  • Recognizing that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents a historic opportunity to change the odds for the millions of vulnerable Americans living without clean and safe water, Fox designed and launched WaterTA. This landmark initiative is investing $500 million to support underserved communities across America to build their technical, financial, and managerial capacity to secure federal infrastructure funding. By the end of 2024 alone, EPA will support 1,500 underserved communities through newly designed technical assistance initiatives like Get The Lead Out, Closing the Wastewater Access Gap, Environmental Finance Centers, and related initiatives.
  • Fox led a robust regulatory agenda to restore and advance critical public health protections, including the first national standard for PFAS in drinking water, the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements, Waters of the United States, the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Rule, and more.
  • Fox served as co-chair of the PFAS Executive Council and led the development of the Agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap — laying out a whole-of-agency approach to addressing PFAS. The roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commits to bolder new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable.
  • Fox has also been a fierce champion for protecting and restoring oceans and coastal ecosystems. She spearheaded the Final Determination under the Clean Water Act to help protect Bristol Bay, home to 25 Alaska Native villages and the most productive wild salmon ecosystem in the world, with an economic value estimated at more than $2.2 billion and resulting in 15,000 jobs annually.
  • As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, Fox also supercharged EPA’s Geographic and National Estuary Programs — overseeing $2 billion in investments in treasured water bodies from the Chesapeake Bay, to the Great Lakes, to Puget sound.
  • President Biden committed to strengthening the nation-to-nation relationship with Tribal Nations and upholding the United States’ federal trust responsibility in Indian country. Fox has been a driving force to deliver on this commitment — creating the first ever Tribal Water Action Plan for the EPA, and delivering hundreds of millions in dedicated water funding to Indian Country and Alaska Native Villages during her tenure.

Learn more information about EPA’s Office of Water.

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority agrees to $100 Million in Wastewater Treatment Improvements

EPA Air - Wed, 01/10/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) to improve wastewater treatment at its Chinle, Kayenta, and Tuba City facilities in Arizona. NTUA has agreed to a Partial Consent Decree that requires wastewater treatment upgrades that will total approximately $100 million and aims to improve compliance with the facilities’ Clean Water Act permits. These upgrades will impact approximately 20,000 individuals across four communities within Navajo Nation.

Based on findings from EPA inspections and reports submitted by NTUA, the U.S. states in their complaint that NTUA violated its Clean Water Act permits by regularly discharging wastewater that had not been treated to the required permit standards, and by failing to properly operate and maintain the facilities’ sewer systems to prevent sewage spills.

The Partial Consent Decree requires NTUA to improve the performance of its existing treatment plants in the short term, and to construct new treatment plants over the longer term. NTUA will seek to relocate the new Tuba City facility from its current footprint to mitigate risks associated with the Moenkopi Wash’s continued erosion towards the facility and to decrease the chance of a catastrophic release of sewage. In addition, NTUA must improve its operation and maintenance of the facilities and study its sewer system piping to identify all defects and plan for their repair. The U.S. and NTUA will negotiate the terms of the sewer system repair plan at a later date, and any agreement will be captured in a subsequent, Final Consent Decree. Today’s settlement also aims to ensure the affected communities have a voice in the improvement process by requiring NTUA to seek public comments on various aspects of its work plans.

“The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority unlawfully discharged untreated sewage from three of its wastewater facilities,” said David M. Uhlmann, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This partial settlement will result in cleaner and healthier water for tribal communities within the Navajo Nation. They deserve nothing less.”

“Today’s action shows our commitment to prioritize public health and environmental protection for communities throughout the nation, including members of tribal communities often disproportionately burdened by pollution,” said Amy Miller, EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division Director for the country’s Pacific Southwest region. “By partnering with tribal governments to enforce federal and tribal pollution laws, we can protect public health and ensure communities have access to clean waterways.”

Improving the quality of water NTUA discharges from its facilities and minimizing sewage spills will directly benefit the environment and protect public health. Excess pollutants in treated wastewater can harm fish and other aquatic life, create algal blooms, and prevent surrounding communities from safely using the water. Similarly, spills and overflows from sewer pipes can pose a public health risk by potentially exposing people to untreated sewage, which may contain viruses, bacteria, or parasites that can make people ill.

To support its wastewater treatment programs, NTUA receives grant funding from various federal agencies—including the EPA, the Indian Health Service, and the Department of Agriculture—and from recent federal appropriations including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan Act. Federal grants from these and other sources are projected to cover the majority of the $100 million cost expected under the Partial Consent Decree.

This matter is being handled by the U.S. Department of Justice, in conjunction with the EPA. 1

The proposed decree is lodged in the U.S. District Court of Arizona. The settlement is subject to a public comment period and final court approval. The Partial Consent Decree will be available for viewing on the Justice Department’s website at: www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.

Learn more about EPA enforcement requirements and wastewater management under the Clean Water Act on EPA’s Water Enforcement webpage.

For more information on reporting possible violations of environmental laws and regulations, visit EPA’s enforcement reporting website.

1  Sentence adjusted for accuracy.

EPA Announces Appointments from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina to Local Government Advisory Committee

EPA Air - Wed, 01/10/2024 - 19:00

ATLANTA (Jan. 10, 2024) – In a historic moment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the appointment of 16 new members to the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC), as well as 13 reappointments of members. For the first time in the Agency’s history an advisory committee’s membership will be predominately female, including all members of the committee’s leadership.

The 37-member LGAC will have 24 females and 13 males, including 13 people of color, and representation from 27 different states. The Administrator also appointed 6 new and 15 returning members to the LGAC’s Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS). The LGAC and SCAS appointments include nine new, reappointed or continuing members from across the Southeast.

Newly appointed members from Region 4 states include: Chandra Farley, Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of Atlanta; La’Meshia Whittington, of North Carolina’s Water Treatment Facility Operator Certification Board; and Kyle Shipp, the Mayor of Pittsboro, North Carolina.

“We are very pleased to have such excellent representation from the Southeast on these influential committees,” said Region 4 Administrator Jeaneanne Gettle. “These appointments reflect EPA’s commitment to foster better relations with local governments and small communities, including the many areas across Region 4 with environmental justice concerns.”

In 2024 the Committee will provide input on the proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements, the draft Strategy for Reducing Plastic Pollution, developing a cumulative impact framework, and improving community-level communication and engagement on climate change issues.

Members were chosen from a pool of more than 60 highly qualified candidates. Selections for the one- and two-year terms were made based on the applicant pool and in accordance with the LGAC charter to achieve balance and diversity in terms of geographic location, gender, ethnicity, and stakeholder perspective. Read more about the members and the communities they represent here.

The new, reappointed (denoted with *), and continuing (denoted with ^) LGAC members representing Region 4 and their affiliations are:

Ms. Chandra Farley, Chief Sustainability Officer, Atlanta, GA

The Honorable Deana Holiday Ingraham, Mayor, East Point, GA^

Mr. Whitford Remer, Sustainability and Resilience Officer, Tampa, FL*

Ms. La’Meshia Whittington, Water Treatment Facility Operator Certification Board, NC

The new, reappointed (denoted with *), and continuing (denoted with ^) SCAS members representing Region 4 and their affiliations are:

The Honorable Velma Jenkins, Mayor, Shuqualak, MS*

The Honorable James Perkins, Mayor, Selma, AL*

The Honorable Hattie Portis-Jones, Mayor Pro Tem, Fairburn, GA*

The Honorable Kyle Shipp, Mayor, Pittsboro, NC

Mr. Kevin Shropshire, Pretreatment Coordinator, Rockledge, FL*

Background Chartered in 1993 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Local Government Advisory Committee is comprised of elected and appointed officials at local, state, tribal and territorial governments within the U.S., who provide independent policy advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of issues affecting local governments. The Small Community Advisory Subcommittee was established by EPA in 1996 to advise the Administrator on environmental issues of concern to the residents of smaller communities. New members are recruited every fall.

For more information about the LGAC, please visit https://www.epa.gov/ocir/local-government-advisory-committee-lgac.

For more information about the SCAS, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/ocir/small-community-advisory-subcommittee-scas

EPA Selects Kansas State University to Receive $4 Million in Grant Funding to Provide Technical Assistance to Tribal Nations and Entities Addressing Brownfields

EPA Air - Wed, 01/10/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the selection of Kansas State University to receive $4 million in grant funding over the course of five years to provide technical assistance and increase the capacity of Tribal Nations and entities to build sustainable brownfield programs, establish and enhance their Tribal Response Programs, and conduct and oversee brownfields assessment and cleanup activities.

This grant will enable Kansas State University to provide technical assistance to federally recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, Alaska Native Regional Corporations, Alaska Native Village Corporations, the Metlakatla Indian community, and Intertribal Consortia upon request.

“Under this new grant, EPA re-affirms its commitment to supporting Tribal Nations and entities addressing brownfields,” said Cliff Villa, EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management. “EPA is excited to continue working with Tribal entities to clean up and revitalize brownfield sites across the country." 

Recognizing that each Tribe is an independent, sovereign nation, responsible for establishing environmental standards, policy, and managing environmental programs, EPA acknowledges that each Tribal Nation and entity faces unique challenges, many of which stem from similar environmental legacies. This cooperative agreement grant will support Tribal communities in their efforts to tackle the challenges of assessing, cleaning up and preparing brownfield sites for redevelopment.

Kansas State University will create deliverables that align with Tribal priorities, capacity, and goals, to address the following subject areas:

• Brownfields Finance and Planning Strategies for Tribal Nations and Entities.

• Science and Technology Relating to Brownfields Assessment, Remediation, and Site Preparation for Safe and Resilient Reuse.

• Assist Tribal Nations and Entities in Understanding and Building Tribal Response Programs.

• Facilitate Storytelling and Promote Collaboration About Brownfields Reuse.

• Integrated Approaches to Brownfields Cleanup and Reuse.

Visit EPA’s Brownfields Program website for more information.

EPA Announces More than $3.5 Million for Texas Environmental Justice Projects As Part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (November 16, 2023) —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $3,578,356 to fund six Texas projects in Dallas, the Houston area, and a Border community near El Paso that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The organizations, which EPA selected through its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government programs, will use the funds to ensure disadvantaged communities have access to clean air and water and climate resilience solutions in alignment with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative. 

Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in U.S. history—this funding is a part the largest investment ever announced under these two longstanding EPA programs. This is the first in a series of environmental justice grant announcements the agency will announce before the end of the year.

“No President has invested more in environmental justice than President Biden, and under his leadership we’re removing longstanding barriers and meaningfully collaborating with communities to build a healthier future for all,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Together, these community-driven projects will improve the health, equity, and resilience of communities while setting a blueprint for local solutions that can be applied across the nation.”

“These grants are unprecedented in several ways—for the historic amount of funding provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, and because money is going directly to communities that are ready to implement solutions to environmental issues,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “This means $3.5 million for projects in Texas that might otherwise remain overlooked and unfunded. These recipients are deeply knowledgeable about the issues facing their communities, and are ready to invest these grants in projects that will bring meaningful results.”

"Our colonias have often been overlooked for seats at the decision-making table," said Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16). "Critical funds and necessary infrastructure have been siphoned elsewhere, exacerbating resource inequality at the expense of already low-income communities. I hope we continue the work to close that gap and ensure every single person in El Paso and our region has access to clean water. I'm grateful for DigDeep's grant that will equip the people of Hueco Tanks with the necessary information and tools to make that dream a reality." 

“We are proud of our collaborative partnerships in Houston, and today’s announcement recognizes the important work of community organizations and partners to bring meaningful improvements in Alief,” said Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-9).  “With its award of nearly $500,000 in federal funding to plant more than 1,000 trees in Alief—which, on average, is 10 degrees hotter than other areas of Houston in large part because it lacks tree canopy—the Biden administration is investing in our community and the quality of life of the people who live here.  I was glad to vote to authorize funding for this program in the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law last year, and I am glad to see these funds coming back to our community.”   

“I was proud to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act that is empowering communities to develop solutions to address the most pressing problems that we face,” said Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33). “This critical funding highlighted in today’s announcement will help create a better future for North Texas by giving a multitude of stakeholders the tools they need to understand and properly address environmental and public health challenges.”

“I am thrilled that the EPA is investing in the children of Houston, inspiring the next generation of environmental justice leaders to build safe and healthy neighborhoods for all,” said Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29). “From field trips into our local waterways, to fun hands-on experiments about air quality and water testing, these federal funds are going to have a lasting impact on the students and teachers in low-income areas in my district. Regrettably, the Houston region has become known for poor air quality, and for some children, that is all they have ever known. Now, we are giving impacted communities and fence line neighborhoods the tools and resources to do something about it.” 

“Historic red-lining in North Texas has pushed Black and Brown neighborhoods closer to industrial sites, highways, and trash dumps – and the impact of this goes far beyond home values. Over the past century, rates of asthma and other cardio-pulmonary diseases have soared in parts of TX-30 disproportionately home to Black residents,” said Rep. Jasmine Crockett (TX-30). “Under President Biden, EPA has taken large leaps towards righting this historical wrong. This latest $652,662 grant will fund efforts to plant trees and other vegetative barriers in the St. Philips Community and Forest District in Southeast Dallas, providing a defense against air pollution and lowering temperatures for decades to come. Cooler and cleaner air is on the way!” 

“Congratulations to the City of Houston Health Department and the Black United Fund of Texas for winning two Environmental Justice grants totaling $1.5 million from EPA to fund work to address environmental vulnerability, adverse health outcomes, and economic disadvantages that the community experiences. Through my 18th Congressional District Office, I led in this effort by calling a community meeting that brought all sides to a discussion on the creosote contamination of Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens, which led to my request for a cancer study of the impacted area. The study resulted in three reports each revealing a new cancer cluster involving residents of the Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens area,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). “I applaud the work of EPA Administrator Regan and his team for positively receiving communications from my office on the cancer clusters and their effort to focus energy and resources on the environmental problems faced by at risk communities like Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens. My deepest thanks to EPA Administrator Regan and his team for bringing this opportunity to the City of Houston. Through my legislative and representational work with the EPA for over a decade helped the EPA get involvement under the leadership of Administrator Regan. I welcome today’s funding; and vow to continue to pursue more funding and greater federal EPA oversight of creosote contamination and other environmental challenges faced by these communities.” 

The grants announced today deliver on President Biden’s commitment to advance equity and justice throughout the United States. The two grant programs directly advance the President’s transformational Justice40 initiative to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving (EJCPS) Program

EPA’s EJCPS program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working to address local environmental or public health issues in their communities. The program builds upon President Biden’s Executive Orders 13985 and 14008, creating a designation of funds exclusively for small nonprofit organizations, which are defined as having 5 or fewer full-time employees, thus ensuring that grant resources reach organizations of lower capacity that historically struggle to receive federal funding. Eleven of the organizations selected for EJCPS this year are small nonprofit organizations, receiving over $1.6 million in total.

EPA EJCPS grant selections in Texas include the following:

  • The Children’s Environmental Literacy Fund in Houston will receive $425,694 for engaging K-12 students in civic science to monitor air quality and watershed health in Greater Houston.
  • The The DigDeep Right to Water Project in Hueco Tanks Colonia will receive $500,000 to bring short- and long-term safe water solutions to residents of the Hueco Tanks colonia, a rural community less than an hour’s drive from the City of El Paso and does not have access to piped water.
  • Sewa International Inc. in Alief will receive $500,000 to mobilize youth volunteers to plant and sustain 1000 trees using water collars over the period of three years.
  • Black United Fund of Texas, Inc. in Houston will receive $500,000 for solar workforce development trainings, illegal dumping abatement, and education in an environmental justice community in the Kashmere Gardens/Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood.

Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G)

EPA’s EJG2G provides funding at the state, local, territorial, and Tribal level to support government activities in partnership with community-based organizations that lead to measurable environmental or public health impacts in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms.

EPA EJG2G grant selections in Texas include the following:

  • The City of Dallas will receive $652,662 to add vegetative buffers along area roadways and measure the impact on air quality and reducing local heat island impact in the St. Philips Community in Southeast Dallas.
  • The City of Houston Health Department will receive $1 million to address climate resilience, environmental vulnerability, and economic disadvantages in the Kashmere Gardens/Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood in Houston with strategies such as a community solar hub and flood alert system.

Additional Background:  

From day one of his administration, President Biden has made achieving environmental justice a top priority. And in August 2022, Congress passed, and President Biden signed, the Inflation Reduction Act into law, creating the largest investment in environmental and climate justice in U.S. history. EPA received $3 billion in appropriations to provide grants and technical assistance for activities advancing environmental and climate justice.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA has launched and expanded innovative programs to provide more support than ever before to communities that unjustly bear the burdens of environmental harm and pollution. This includes the $177 million for the creation of 16 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) to remove barriers to federal resources and help communities pursue funding opportunities like those made available through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. EPA has also launched and will award funds through the $550 million  Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program before the end of 2023.

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

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

EPA Announces More than $2 Million for New Mexico Environmental Justice Projects As Part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (November 16, 2023) —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $2,039,453 to fund three New Mexico projects that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The grantees, which EPA selected through its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government programs, will use the funds to ensure disadvantaged communities have access to clean air and water and climate resilience solutions in alignment with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative. 

Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in U.S. history—this funding is a part the largest investment ever announced under these two longstanding EPA programs. This is the first in a series of environmental justice grant announcements the agency will announce before the end of the year.

“No President has invested more in environmental justice than President Biden, and under his leadership we’re removing longstanding barriers and meaningfully collaborating with communities to build a healthier future for all,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Together, these community-driven projects will improve the health, equity, and resilience of communities while setting a blueprint for local solutions that can be applied across the nation.”

“These grants are unprecedented in several ways—for the historic amount of funding provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, and because money is going directly to communities that are ready to implement solutions to environmental issues,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “This means $2 million for projects in New Mexico that might otherwise remain overlooked and unfunded. These recipients are deeply knowledgeable about the issues facing their communities, and are ready to invest these grants in projects that will bring meaningful results.

“Clean air and water are essential to the people and places of New Mexico,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. “I’m proud to see the Inflation Reduction Act I fought to pass now delivering another $2 million for environmental projects in our state.” 

“New Mexicans understand the importance of safeguarding our environment for generations to come. I’m glad to welcome more than $2 million to New Mexico for environmental justice initiatives to protect our land, air, and water and keep our communities healthy,” said U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján. “New Mexico is a leader in the fight against the climate crisis and this critical funding will help us continue these efforts.”   

“New Mexico’s culture is tied to the land we live on, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. I’m excited to welcome over $2 million for projects that will help our communities protect these precious resources,” said Rep. Leger Fernández (NM-3). “The Environmental Protection Agency chose to fund projects that will make us better ancestors. These grants will serve our communities and Pueblos through public education, clean up initiatives, research, and health assessments.”  

The grants announced today deliver on President Biden’s commitment to advance equity and justice throughout the United States. The two grant programs directly advance the President’s transformational Justice40 initiative to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving (EJCPS) Program

EPA’s EJCPS program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working to address local environmental or public health issues in their communities. The program builds upon President Biden’s Executive Orders 13985 and 14008, creating a designation of funds exclusively for small nonprofit organizations, which are defined as having 5 or fewer full-time employees, thus ensuring that grant resources reach organizations of lower capacity that historically struggle to receive federal funding. Eleven of the organizations selected for EJCPS this year are small nonprofit organizations, receiving over $1.6 million in total.

EPA EJCPS grant selection in New Mexico include the following:

  • Earth Care International in Santa Fe will receive $500,000 to conduct a community-led health assessment for the southside of Santa Fe using collaborative problem-solving to develop concrete urban planning, local policy, and community-driven development solutions to the environmental justice and public health challenges facing the area.

Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G)

EPA’s EJG2G provides funding at the state, local, territorial, and Tribal level to support government activities in partnership with community-based organizations that lead to measurable environmental or public health impacts in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms.

EPA EJG2G grant selections in New Mexico include the following:

  • The Santo Domingo Pueblo will receive $539,453 permanently decrease the number of individuals contributing to open dumps as well as eliminating open dumps within the underserved and overburdened Tribal Community of Santo Domingo Pueblo, located in north central New Mexico.
  • The New Mexico Environment Department will receive $1 million to help federal, state, county, regional and tribal governments and community-based organizations to carry out a Health Impact Assessment to engage community members and inform actions of NMED to help reduce health impacts on underserved and vulnerable populations in San Juan County due to harmful emissions from recycling facilities.

Additional Background:  

From day one of his administration, President Biden has made achieving environmental justice a top priority. And in August 2022, Congress passed, and President Biden signed, the Inflation Reduction Act into law, creating the largest investment in environmental and climate justice in U.S. history. EPA received $3 billion in appropriations to provide grants and technical assistance for activities advancing environmental and climate justice.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA has launched and expanded innovative programs to provide more support than ever before to communities that unjustly bear the burdens of environmental harm and pollution. This includes the $177 million for the creation of 16 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) to remove barriers to federal resources and help communities pursue funding opportunities like those made available through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. EPA has also launched and will award funds through the $550 million  Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program before the end of 2023.

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

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

EPA Announces Over $3 Million in Grants Prioritizing Environmental Justice in Louisiana

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (November 16, 2023) —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $3,149,999 million to fund five projects across Louisiana that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The organizations receiving this funding is the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Thrive New Orleans, Micah Six Eight Mission, Groundwork New Orleans, and the Louisiana Department of Health. These organizations were selected through EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government programs.

“No President has invested more in environmental justice than President Biden, and under his leadership we’re removing longstanding barriers and meaningfully collaborating with communities to build a healthier future for all,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Together, these community-driven projects will improve the health, equity, and resilience of communities while setting a blueprint for local solutions that can be applied across the nation.”

“These grants are unprecedented in several ways—for the historic amount of funding provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, and because money is going directly to communities that are ready to implement solutions to environmental issues,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “This means $3.1 million for projects in Louisiana that might otherwise remain overlooked and unfunded. These recipients are deeply knowledgeable about the issues facing their communities, and are ready to invest these grants in projects that will bring meaningful results.”

“I’m committed to environmental sustainability, and this grant funding is a significant milestone in New Orleans’ journey towards a greener and more environmentally responsible future. I’m also proud that this grant aims to ensure that federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Environmental justice MUST be at the center of any action to address disproportionate health and environmental impacts on communities, especially communities of color. Together, we will make New Orleans a shining example of environmental stewardship, equity, and progress,” said Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02).

Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in U.S. history—this funding is a part the largest investment ever announced under these two longstanding EPA programs. This is the first in a series of environmental justice grant announcements the agency will announce before the end of the year. The grants announced deliver on President Biden’s commitment to advance equity and justice throughout the United States. The two grant programs directly advance the President’s transformational Justice40 initiative to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G)

EPA’s EJG2G provides funding at the state, local, territorial, and Tribal level to support government activities in partnership with community-based organizations that lead to measurable environmental or public health impacts in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms.

EPA EJG2G grant selections in Louisiana include the following:
 

  • Groundwork New Orleans will receive $500,000 to develop a project that aims to prevent tragic deaths during prolonged power outages.
     
  • The Louisiana Department of Health will receive $999,999 and will develop a project focused on asthma patients from areas where high social vulnerability, poor outdoor air quality, housing concerns and high asthma prevalence overlap, providing virtual home visits and in-person home assessments
  • The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will receive $1 million to monitor and develop a new air monitoring van will which provide air quality data for compounds such as formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, ethylene oxide, hydrocarbons, oxygenates and nitrogen compounds. This will be used during emergency responses incidents such as hurricanes.
  • Thrive New Orleans will receive $500,000 to develop a project that aims to empower BIPOC youth by equipping them with culturally relevant environmental education and skills to transform their communities and life trajectories.
  • Micah Six Eight Mission will receive $150,000 to engage with marginalized communities of color in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes that are highly susceptible to and have high levels of exposure to environmental hazards.

Additional Background:  

From day one of his administration, President Biden has made achieving environmental justice a top priority. And in August 2022, Congress passed, and President Biden signed, the Inflation Reduction Act into law, creating the largest investment in environmental and climate justice in U.S. history. EPA received $3 billion in appropriations to provide grants and technical assistance for activities advancing environmental and climate justice.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA has launched and expanded innovative programs to provide more support than ever before to communities that unjustly bear the burdens of environmental harm and pollution. This includes the $177 million for the creation of 16 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) to remove barriers to federal resources and help communities pursue funding opportunities like those made available through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. EPA has also launched and will award funds through the $550 million  Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program before the end of 2023.

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

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

EPA Selects Camden, NJ and New York City Projects to Receive Recycling Education and Outreach Grants as Part of America Recycles Day

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK (November 16, 2023) - Today, in conjunction with American Recycles Day, the Environmental Protection Agency selected a Camden, NJ schools project and an education campaign from the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to receive a total of $3.2 million in Recycling Education and Outreach (REO) grants in the region. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and under President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, these grants focus on improving the effectiveness of residential and community recycling and composting programs through public education and outreach. 

“Today, on America Recycles Day, we are putting historic recycling investments into communities, made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Two years ago today, the President signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and with it, unleashed unprecedented funding to enable Tribes and communities to update recycling and composting infrastructure, while also advancing education programs to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.”

“The Recycling Education and Outreach grant program is an opportunity for robust outreach and the expansion of important public services,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “We’re pleased that both organizations will focus on community-based programs that will instill the importance of everyone’s collective effort in keeping our cities clean and green.”  

Recycling Education and Outreach Grants

The Recycling Education and Outreach grant projects will help inform the public about local recycling and composting programs and focus on increasing collection rates and decreasing contamination of recycling streams across the nation.

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has been selected to receive will receive $2 million. DSNY will implement an education outreach campaign and the citywide expansion of a curbside composting program, with a focus on historically underserved communities.

The Go Green Initiative Association, an environmental justice organization working in Camden, New Jersey, has been selected to receive close to $1.2million to advance single stream recycling and composting programs in public schools. These programs engage and positively influence the recycling behavior in lower-income communities.

These grants reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling environmental justice and the climate crisis. Many communities with environmental justice concerns carry a disproportionate environmental and human health burden from waste management. As part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, 74% of the funding allocated in the REO grants will benefit environmentally overburdened communities. Proper recycling reduces the need to extract resources such as timber, water, and minerals for new products.

To learn more about the Recycling Education and Outreach funding, please visit: EPA’s Recipients and Selectees webpage.

America Recycles Day

Today marks both the 29th America Recycles Day, the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the second anniversary of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy. The National Recycling Strategy was the first in a series of EPA strategies devoted to building a circular economy – one that reduces material use, redesigns materials, products, and services to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.

To build upon the goals of the recycling strategy, EPA released the Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution for public comment in April. The Draft Strategy outlines steps to reduce pollution during production, improve management of plastic materials throughout product lifecycles, and encourage actions to keep plastics out of national waterways and the environment. Future strategies will address food waste and electronics.

EPA also recently announced over $105 million for the selectees of the historic SWIFR grants for states and communities. These improvements will support a circular economy, help lower greenhouse gas emissions, as more efficient waste management systems are key to reducing energy consumption and the need for raw materials, while rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, powered by well-paying jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.

Visit EPA’s website to learn more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

Follow EPA Region 2 on X and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

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EPA Administrator Regan Announces Members of First-Ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (NOV. 16, 2023) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the appointment of 16 members to the Agency’s first-ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC).

The newly established federal advisory committee will provide independent policy advice and recommendations to Administrator Regan on how to increase the effectiveness of EPA’s efforts to address a range of environmental issues impacting youth. The council is the first ever at EPA to be exclusively occupied by young people, with all members between the ages of 16 and 29. 

“Young people have been at the forefront of every movement for political and social change in American history, and the environmental movement is no different. Today we are cementing seats for young leaders at EPA’s table as we tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our time,” Regan said. “President Biden is committed to ensuring everyone in this country has access to clean air, safe water and healthy land, now and for generations to come. With the support of the spectacular young leaders selected today, we will deliver on his clear vision for a brighter and healthier future.” 

EPA issued a request for nominations to the council in the summer of 2023 and received over 1,000 applications. EPA selected new members from a pool of highly qualified candidates to represent a variety of interests, lived experiences, partisan affiliation, and geographic locations, and whose backgrounds include extensive experience with EPA priority issues including climate change, environmental justice, conservation, air quality, clean water, agriculture, food security, and workforce development. NEYAC members represent all 10 EPA regions, including urban, rural and tribal communities, and hail from 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Administrator Regan will announce his appointments at a launch event in Washington, D.C., that will rally young leaders from across the country to celebrate their critical role in addressing the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Regan and the new members will be joined by talent including DJ Heat, Little Bacon Bear, and elected officials including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost, the youngest Member of Congress and first member from Generation Z to serve. Regan will also participate in a fireside chat with young leaders moderated by ESPN’s Sheila Matthews. 

New Members of the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council
  • Shannen Maxwell, 27, Mexico, Missouri
  • Nicholas Blumenthal, 21, Sioux City, Iowa
  • Alexandra Angerman, 25, Wrangell, Alaska
  • Asada Rashidi, 22, Newark, New Jersey
  • Colton Buckley, 29, Gatesville, Texas
  • Emmanuel Alcantar, 27, Los Angeles
  • Gabriel Nagel, 18, Denver
  • Kiera O’Brien, 25, Washington
  • Kristy Drutman, 28, Weehawken, New Jersey
  • Lisette Perez, 24, Chicago
  • Meghana Kunapareddy, 18, Katy, Texas
  • Osasenaga Idahor, 20, Hyde Park, Massachusetts
  • Page Tsirigotis, 19, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Rachel Billiot-Bruleigh, 27, Gretna, Louisiana
  • Sophia Kianni, 21, McLean, Virginia
  • Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, 24, Philadelphia

View the full list of NEYAC members and read additional information about the committee. 

The NEYAC will meet at least twice a year, with the first meeting of the council to be scheduled next year. As they become available, additional details will post to EPA’s website

About the NEYAC

The National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC) provides advice and recommendations on environmental issues impacting young people directly to EPA Administrator Regan. The NEYAC includes 16 members, who are appointed for a two-year term. As part of the Agency’s commitment to centering environmental justice communities, at least 50% of the overall membership of NEYAC will come from, reside primarily in, and/or do most of their work in disadvantaged communities as defined by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) as part of Justice40.

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Learn more about EPA Region 7

View all Region 7 news releases

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook

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Biden-Harris Administration to Invest $30 Million to Protect Tucson Residents from PFAS

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

TUCSON, AZ (Nov. 16, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tucson Water’s investment of $30 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to protect Tucson area residents from PFAS in their drinking water. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox and EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman joined state and local officials to highlight how Tucson is leveraging President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to better protect drinking water from forever chemicals and emerging contaminants.

 “No person in this country should wonder whether their drinking water is safe from PFAS – also known as forever chemicals. Today, we celebrate Tucson Water for taking action to invest in its drinking water treatment to protect its customers from PFAS,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This investment demonstrates the kind of protections and infrastructure that EPA is supporting, both through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and through our proposed standard to regulate several PFAS in drinking water and better protect communities across the nation.”

With this funding, Tucson Water will build a second drinking water treatment facility for residents of Tucson, Marana, and other communities in the region, that will bring PFAS levels lower than the proposed standard for PFAS. This will allow Tucson Water to maintain its commitment to providing safe, reliable drinking water to its customers in an area where groundwater has been impacted by the presence of emerging contaminants. The project will also increase the resiliency of the water system, which is currently relying on a single pipeline, reducing the need to pump water from a great distance.

“ADEQ welcomes the historic investments being made in Tucson to help ensure clean, reliable drinking water for future generations. These investments are helping Tucson and other Arizona communities on the frontlines safeguard our vital drinking water resources from per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” said Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Cabinet Executive Officer Karen Peters.

"Tucson’s water project will remediate dangerous emerging chemicals from the water supply in one of Arizona’s largest cities. The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority’s ability to use Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to provide more than $30 million in subsidized assistance for this project will help keep water resources affordable for Tucson’s families,” said Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Board of Directors Treasurer, Susan Montgomery. “This only scratches the surface of the good work that WIFA's State Revolving Funds make possible not just in Southern Arizona, but across the entire state. WIFA is proud to work with EPA to facilitate critical water projects at affordable rates.”

"I am happy to welcome EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox to the Sonoran Desert and share the work that we are doing together in Tucson to ensure a safe and secure water future," said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. "I want to thank the Biden Administration for giving cities like Tucson the resources that we need through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to protect our drinking water from PFAS and other forever chemicals while securing the future of Lake Mead. Tucsonans' water conservation ethic is known around the country.”

"In Tucson we have enough water to thrive but not enough to waste,” said Tucson Water Director John Kmiec. “That's why investments in water quality protection projects like these are so important for the future of our community.”

"I am grateful for EPA and the federal government recognizing the importance of protecting our water against PFAS by investing in a new treatment facility," said Yolanda Herrera, Co-Chair of the Unified Community Advisory Board monitoring the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund Site. "Tucson Water is taking a proactive approach to secure and deliver safe drinking water to the Tucson and surrounding communities, now and for future generations.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is an unprecedented investment that includes $10 billion in funding dedicated to address emerging contaminants, like PFAS. As EPA deploys these resources with its state and local partners, the Agency recognizes this opportunity to build for the future.

Background 

The Biden-Harris Administration and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. water infrastructure ever. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $50 billion through EPA’s highly successful water infrastructure programs. With this funding, EPA, states, Tribes, and localities have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and rebuild America’s water infrastructure. EPA is committed to ensuring that all communities, particularly disadvantaged and underserved communities, get their fair share of this federal water infrastructure investment. More information about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available at www.epa.gov/infrastructure.

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EPA Selects Two New York Indian Nations to Receive Solid Waste Grants as part of America Recycles Day

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK (November 16, 2023) - Today, the US. Environmental Protection Agency selected the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and the Seneca Nation of Indians to receive a total of almost $2 million in Solid Waste for Recycling Grants. These grants, which are part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, will expand recycling infrastructure and education for waste management systems across both nations.

“Today, on America Recycles Day, we are putting historic recycling investments into communities, made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Two years ago today, the President signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and with it, unleashed unprecedented funding to enable Tribes and communities to update recycling and composting infrastructure, while also advancing education programs to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.”

“These grants will support the Indian Nations’ efforts to advance environmentally sound waste management and infrastructure,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “These grants help meet a critical need for these nations and support pathways in waste reduction and promote recycling.”

Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia

The SWIFR grants for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia will enable Indian Nations to make improvements to their recycling and waste management systems, meeting Congress’ goal to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system. EPA Region 2 has announced the selection of two Nations to receive just over $1.9 million through the program.

They include:

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) has been selected to receive $1.5 million. The SRMT will use the funding to further develop its waste management infrastructure such as building a food waste composting facility, replace a diesel generator with an electric grid connection and more. This funding will complement an existing capital investment project and directly benefit communities along the St. Lawrence River.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has been selected to receive $457,888 to establish partnerships with community-based organizations, expand food waste collection and establish waste reuse opportunities. This grant will support the creation of four to five jobs and pay the labor needed for food scrap pick up, equipment and supplies.

These grants reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling environmental justice and the climate crisis. Many communities with environmental justice concerns carry a disproportionate environmental and human health burden from waste managment. As part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, 100% of the funding allocated in EPA’s SWIFR for Tribes grants. Increased recycling and recycling education are a step in the right direction to reduce pollution as natural resource extraction and processing make up half of all global greenhouse gas emissions that drive the climate crisis.

To learn more about the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia funding, please visit: EPA’s Recipients and Selectees webpage.

America Recycles Day

Today marks both the 29th America Recycles Day, the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the second anniversary of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy. The National Recycling Strategy was the first in a series of EPA strategies devoted to building a circular economy – one that reduces material use, redesigns materials, products, and services to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.

To build upon the goals of the recycling strategy, EPA released the Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution for public comment in April. The Draft Strategy outlines steps to reduce pollution during production, improve management of plastic materials throughout product lifecycles, and encourage actions to keep plastics out of national waterways and the environment. Future strategies will address food waste and electronics.

EPA also recently announced over $105 million for the selectees of the historic SWIFR grants for states and communities. These improvements will support a circular economy, help lower greenhouse gas emissions, as more efficient waste management systems are key to reducing energy consumption and the need for raw materials, while rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, powered by well-paying jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.

Visit EPA’s website to learn more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

Follow EPA Region 2 on X and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

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EPA Announces Over $800,000 in Funding Prioritizing Environmental Justice in Oklahoma

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (November 16, 2023) —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $881,709 to fund two projects across Oklahoma that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The organizations receiving this funding is the organization Open Design Collective, Inc. and the Chickasaw Nation (CN). These entities were selected through EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government programs.

“No President has invested more in environmental justice than President Biden, and under his leadership we’re removing longstanding barriers and meaningfully collaborating with communities to build a healthier future for all,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Together, these community-driven projects will improve the health, equity, and resilience of communities while setting a blueprint for local solutions that can be applied across the nation.”

“These grants are unprecedented in several ways—for the historic amount of funding provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, and because money is going directly to communities that are ready to implement solutions to environmental issues,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “This means $881,709 for projects in Oklahoma that might otherwise remain overlooked and unfunded. These recipients are deeply knowledgeable about the issues facing their communities, and are ready to invest these grants in projects that will bring meaningful results.

Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in U.S. history—this funding is a part the largest investment ever announced under these two longstanding EPA programs. This is the first in a series of environmental justice grant announcements the agency will announce before the end of the year. The grants announced deliver on President Biden’s commitment to advance equity and justice throughout the United States. The two grant programs directly advance the President’s transformational Justice40 initiative to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G)

EPA’s EJG2G provides funding at the state, local, territorial, and Tribal level to support government activities in partnership with community-based organizations that lead to measurable environmental or public health impacts in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms.

EPA EJG2G grant selections in Oklahoma include the following:

  • Open Design Collective, Inc. will receive $500,000 to engage, support, and strengthen community-led efforts in addressing air quality in the geographic area of the historically Black John F. Kennedy neighborhood (JFK) through environmental placemaking and restoring a public space in the community.
     
  • The Chickasaw Nation will receive $381,709 to enact a long-term Citizen Science Watershed-Based Stream Monitoring Program within the CN treaty territory with the goal of establishing water quality baselines and an early warning system for quality impacts.

Additional Background:  

From day one of his administration, President Biden has made achieving environmental justice a top priority. And in August 2022, Congress passed, and President Biden signed, the Inflation Reduction Act into law, creating the largest investment in environmental and climate justice in U.S. history. EPA received $3 billion in appropriations to provide grants and technical assistance for activities advancing environmental and climate justice.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA has launched and expanded innovative programs to provide more support than ever before to communities that unjustly bear the burdens of environmental harm and pollution. This includes the $177 million for the creation of 16 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) to remove barriers to federal resources and help communities pursue funding opportunities like those made available through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. EPA has also launched and will award funds through the $550 million  Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program before the end of 2023.

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

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

United States Brings Civil Enforcement Action for Significant Damage to 21 Acres of Wetlands in Ashland, VA

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 16, 2023) – The U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint on behalf of EPA against Chameleon LLC and Gary V. Layne to address violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) involving unauthorized discharges of dredged or fill material into wetlands adjacent to tributaries of the Chickahominy and Pamunkey Rivers in Ashland, Virginia.

The complaint alleges that Defendants conducted extensive clearing, grubbing, earth-moving, and draining activities in wetlands to prepare the site for development without any permit authorization, in violation of Sections 301 and 404 of the Clean Water Act.  EPA previously issued a Unilateral Administrative Order on November 23, 2021, that required Defendants to submit a plan to restore the impacted wetlands. Chameleon LLC and Mr. Layne failed to comply with that order.

“EPA remains committed to protecting our nation’s waters from harmful pollution, within the limits set by the Supreme Court,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA will hold companies accountable when they seek to profit from illegally filling wetlands and imperiling the health of the Nation’s rivers and streams.”

"EPA is serious about enforcing regulations that protect the shared resources upon which we all rely," said Adam Ortiz, EPA Regional Administrator. "Wetlands play critical roles in our ecosystems and serve as buffers to climate change. Lawsuits like this are clear reminders that EPA and its federal and state partners will enforce the highest standards to ensure a sustainable future in which nature and communities can thrive together."

The United States filed suit in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia on November 13, 2023.  The lawsuit alleges that, beginning in 2018, the defendants discharged dredged or fill material into 21 acres of wetlands that abut and have a continuous surface connection to relatively permanent tributaries of the Chickahominy River and Pamunkey River, without obtaining federal permit coverage from the Army Corps of Engineers as required under the CWA.

EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality have worked cooperatively throughout the development of this matter to identify and address the violations at the site.  The agencies are committed to protecting aquatic resources and resolving violations in ways that address both federal and state concerns.

In the lawsuit, the United States seeks relief that would address the violations, including appropriate penalties, restoration of the impacted wetlands, and mitigation for any irreversible environmental impacts.

Biden-Harris Administration to Invest $30 Million to Protect Tucson Residents from PFAS

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

TUCSON, AZ –Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tucson Water’s investment of $30 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to protect Tucson area residents from PFAS in their drinking water. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox and EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman joined state and local officials to highlight how Tucson is leveraging President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to better protect drinking water from forever chemicals and emerging contaminants.

 “No person in this country should wonder whether their drinking water is safe from PFAS – also known as forever chemicals. Today, we celebrate Tucson Water for taking action to invest in its drinking water treatment to protect its customers from PFAS,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This investment demonstrates the kind of protections and infrastructure that EPA is supporting, both through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and through our proposed standard to regulate several PFAS in drinking water and better protect communities across the nation.”

With this funding, Tucson Water will build a second drinking water treatment facility for residents of Tucson, Marana, and other communities in the region, that will bring PFAS levels lower than the proposed standard for PFAS. This will allow Tucson Water to maintain its commitment to providing safe, reliable drinking water to its customers in an area where groundwater has been impacted by the presence of emerging contaminants. The project will also increase the resiliency of the water system, which is currently relying on a single pipeline, reducing the need to pump water from a great distance.

“ADEQ welcomes the historic investments being made in Tucson to help ensure clean, reliable drinking water for future generations. These investments are helping Tucson and other Arizona communities on the frontlines safeguard our vital drinking water resources from per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” said Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Cabinet Executive Officer Karen Peters.

"Tucson’s water project will remediate dangerous emerging chemicals from the water supply in one of Arizona’s largest cities. The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority’s ability to use Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to provide more than $30 million in subsidized assistance for this project will help keep water resources affordable for Tucson’s families,” said Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Board of Directors Treasurer, Susan Montgomery. “This only scratches the surface of the good work that WIFA's State Revolving Funds make possible not just in Southern Arizona, but across the entire state. WIFA is proud to work with EPA to facilitate critical water projects at affordable rates.”

"I am happy to welcome EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox to the Sonoran Desert and share the work that we are doing together in Tucson to ensure a safe and secure water future," said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. "I want to thank the Biden Administration for giving cities like Tucson the resources that we need through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to protect our drinking water from PFAS and other forever chemicals while securing the future of Lake Mead. Tucsonans' water conservation ethic is known around the country.”

"In Tucson we have enough water to thrive but not enough to waste,” said Tucson Water Director John Kmiec. “That's why investments in water quality protection projects like these are so important for the future of our community.”

"I am grateful for EPA and the federal government recognizing the importance of protecting our water against PFAS by investing in a new treatment facility," said Yolanda Herrera, Co-Chair of the Unified Community Advisory Board monitoring the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund Site. "Tucson Water is taking a proactive approach to secure and deliver safe drinking water to the Tucson and surrounding communities, now and for future generations.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is an unprecedented investment that includes $10 billion in funding dedicated to address emerging contaminants, like PFAS. As EPA deploys these resources with its state and local partners, the Agency recognizes this opportunity to build for the future.

Background

The Biden-Harris Administration and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. water infrastructure ever. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $50 billion through EPA’s highly successful water infrastructure programs. With this funding, EPA, states, Tribes, and localities have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and rebuild America’s water infrastructure. EPA is committed to ensuring that all communities, particularly disadvantaged and underserved communities, get their fair share of this federal water infrastructure investment. More information about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available on the EPA website.

EPA Administrator Regan Announces Members of First-Ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the appointment of 16 members to the agency’s first-ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC). The newly established federal advisory committee will provide independent policy advice and recommendations to Administrator Regan on how to increase the effectiveness of EPA’s efforts to address a range of environmental issues impacting youth. The council is the first ever at EPA to be exclusively occupied by young people, with all members between the ages of 16 and 29.

“Young people have been at the forefront of every movement for political and social change in American history, and the environmental movement is no different. Today we are cementing seats for young leaders at EPA’s table as we tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our time,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “President Biden is committed to ensuring everyone in this country has access to clean air, safe water and healthy land, now and for generations to come. With the support of the spectacular young leaders selected today, we will deliver on his clear vision for a brighter and healthier future.”

EPA issued a request for nominations to the council in the summer of 2023 and received over 1,000 applications. EPA selected new members from a pool of highly qualified candidates to represent a variety of interests, lived experiences, partisan affiliation, and geographic locations, and whose backgrounds include extensive experience with EPA priority issues including climate change, environmental justice, conservation, air quality, clean water, agriculture, food security, and workforce development. NEYAC members represent all 10 EPA regions, including urban, rural and Tribal communities, and hail from 13 states and the District of Columbia.

“Young people understand the urgency of addressing climate change, as they will be the generation most directly affected by its devastating consequences,” said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT). “I am pleased that the EPA’s National Environmental Youth Advisory Council will give young people a voice to address this existential crisis. We must act aggressively to move away from fossil fuels and make sure the planet we leave for our kids and future generations is healthy and habitable.” 

“While young people didn’t cause the climate crisis, they will be the most affected if we fail to act,” said U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). “Solutions to climate injustice must be crafted and led by the voices of the future, particularly young people who have seen that injustice in their communities. That’s why I am beyond proud to see a constituent from Hyde Park, Massachusetts be named a Council Member of EPA’s inaugural National Environmental Youth Advisory Council. I can’t wait to see the great things to come from these 16 young leaders.”

“The climate crisis is here and it’s time our leaders took a whole-of-government approach that brings young people to the table and ensures all voices are heard in the fight to save our planet,” said U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost (D-FL). “Under the leadership of President Biden, I’m thrilled to see the EPA bring young people into the fold in such a critical way. When clean air, clean water, and clean communities are on the line, we can’t and won’t give up in the fight against climate change.”

Administrator Regan will announce his appointments at a launch event in Washington, D.C., that will rally young leaders from across the country to celebrate their critical role in addressing the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Administrator Regan and the new members will be joined by talent including DJ Heat, Little Bacon Bear and elected officials including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost, the youngest Member of Congress and first member from Generation Z to serve. Administrator Regan will also participate in a fireside chat with young leaders moderated by ESPN’s Sheila Matthews.

New Members of the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council

  • Alexandra Angerman, 25, Wrangell, AK
  • Asada Rashidi, 22, Newark, NJ
  • Colton Buckley, 29, Gatesville, TX
  • Emmanuel Alcantar, 27, Los Angeles, CA
  • Gabriel Nagel, 18, Denver, CO
  • Kiera O’Brien, 25, Washington, DC
  • Kristy Drutman, 28, Weehawken, NJ
  • Lisette Perez, 24, Chicago, IL
  • Meghana Kunapareddy, 18, Katy, TX
  • Nicholas Blumenthal, 21, Sioux City, IA
  • Osasenaga Idahor, 20, Hyde Park, MA
  • Page Tsirigotis, 19, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Rachel Billiot-Bruleigh, 27, Gretna, LA
  • Shannen Maxwell, 27, Mexico, MO
  • Sophia Kianni, 21, McLean, VA
  • Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, 24, Philadelphia, PA

View the full list of NEYAC members and read additional information about the committee.

The NEYAC will meet at least twice a year, with the first meeting of the council to be scheduled next year. As they become available, additional details will post to EPA’s website.

About the NEYAC

The National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC) provides advice and recommendations on environmental issues impacting young people directly to EPA Administrator Regan. The NEYAC includes 16 members, who are appointed for a two-year term. As part of the agency’s commitment to centering environmental justice communities, at least 50% of the overall membership of NEYAC will come from, reside primarily in, and/or do most of their work in disadvantaged communities as defined by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) as part of Justice40.

Hyde Park, Mass. resident selected to join EPA's first-ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council

EPA Air - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 19:00

Boston (Nov. 16, 2023) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the appointment of 16 members to the agency's first-ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC), including a Massachusetts student from Hyde Park. The newly established federal advisory committee will provide independent policy advice and recommendations to Administrator Regan on how to increase the effectiveness of EPA's efforts to address a range of environmental issues impacting youth. The council is the first ever at EPA to be exclusively occupied by young people, with all members between the ages of 16 and 29.

"Young people have been at the forefront of every movement for political and social change in American history, and the environmental movement is no different. Today we are cementing seats for young leaders at EPA's table as we tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our time," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "President Biden is committed to ensuring everyone in this country has access to clean air, safe water and healthy land, now and for generations to come. With the support of the spectacular young leaders selected today, we will deliver on his clear vision for a brighter and healthier future."

"Having young people lead the charge on climate and environmental justice, and providing them with a voice, is incredibly important to creating sustained change and connecting with the needs of our communities" said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "New England is excited to hear from, learn from and collaborate with our new youth advisory council. Congratulations to all the selectees, especially Osasenaga Idahor from New England! With his expertise in environmental health and his understanding of the importance of communicating about these issues, he will be an excellent contributor to attaining the Nation's and the Region's environmental and justice goals."

Osasenaga Idahor grew up in Hyde Park, Boston, a neighborhood predominantly home to immigrant people of color, and witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of overlooked environmental health issues in his community. "I am honored to be selected to serve as one of the sixteen members of the first iteration of the NEYAC! I look forward to using this privileged platform to serve my community by representing the interests of science policy-communicators focused on the correlation between environmental health and impacts from climate change," said the NEYAC member, Osasenaga Idahor. Idahor uses his platform of environmental health research to inform public policy, and writes, records, and publishes his podcast, 'The Climate Doctor (No MD)', specifically focused on the relevance of our climate to our daily health by diving into climate change, climate concepts, and environmental justice issues.

EPA issued a request for nominations to the council in the summer of 2023 and received over 1,000 applications. EPA selected new members from a pool of highly qualified candidates to represent a variety of interests, lived experiences, partisan affiliation, and geographic locations, and whose backgrounds include extensive experience with EPA priority issues including climate change, environmental justice, conservation, air quality, clean water, agriculture, food security, and workforce development. NEYAC members represent all 10 EPA regions, including urban, rural and Tribal communities, and hail from 13 states and the District of Columbia.

"Young people understand the urgency of addressing climate change, as they will be the generation most directly affected by its devastating consequences," said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT). "I am pleased that the EPA's National Environmental Youth Advisory Council will give young people a voice to address this existential crisis. We must act aggressively to move away from fossil fuels and make sure the planet we leave for our kids and future generations is healthy and habitable."

"While young people didn't cause the climate crisis, they will be the most affected if we fail to act," said U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). "Solutions to climate injustice must be crafted and led by the voices of the future, particularly young people who have seen that injustice in their communities. That's why I am beyond proud to see a constituent from Hyde Park, Massachusetts be named a Council Member of EPA's inaugural National Environmental Youth Advisory Council. I can't wait to see the great things to come from these 16 young leaders."

"The climate crisis is here and it's time our leaders took a whole-of-government approach that brings young people to the table and ensures all voices are heard in the fight to save our planet," said U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost (D-FL). "Under the leadership of President Biden, I'm thrilled to see the EPA bring young people into the fold in such a critical way. When clean air, clean water, and clean communities are on the line, we can't and won't give up in the fight against climate change."

Administrator Regan will announce his appointments at a launch event in Washington, D.C., that will rally young leaders from across the country to celebrate their critical role in addressing the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Administrator Regan and the new members will be joined by talent including DJ Heat, Little Bacon Bear and elected officials including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost, the youngest Member of Congress and first member from Generation Z to serve. Administrator Regan will also participate in a fireside chat with young leaders moderated by ESPN's Sheila Matthews.

Background:

View the full list of NEYAC members and read additional information about the committee.

The NEYAC will meet at least twice a year, with the first meeting of the council to be scheduled next year. As they become available, additional details will post to EPA's website.

About the NEYAC

The National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC) provides advice and recommendations on environmental issues impacting young people directly to EPA Administrator Regan. The NEYAC includes 16 members, who are appointed for a two-year term. As part of the agency's commitment to centering environmental justice communities, at least 50% of the overall membership of NEYAC will come from, reside primarily in, and/or do most of their work in disadvantaged communities as defined by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) as part of Justice40.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More than $11 Million in EPA Region 5 for Tribal Recycling Infrastructure Projects and Recycling Education and Outreach Grants as Part of America

EPA Air - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 19:00

CHICAGO (Nov. 15, 2023) – Today, in conjunction with America Recycles Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced seven selectees to receive over $6 million in Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grants for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia, and three selectees to receive over $4.5 million in Recycling Education and Outreach grants. These grants, which are part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, will expand recycling infrastructure and education for waste management systems across the region.

 

“Today, on America Recycles Day, we are putting historic recycling investments into communities, made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Two years ago today, the President signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and with it, unleashed unprecedented funding to enable Tribes and communities to update recycling and composting infrastructure, while also advancing education programs to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.”
 

“Research shows that more than 22 million pounds of plastic pollution end up in the Great Lakes every year,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Thanks to the historic recycling infrastructure investments being announced today, Great Lakes Tribal and local partners will be supported in improving their recycling infrastructure and enhancing public education so that we can better protect all of our natural resources.”

 

These recycling grants will help tackle consumer confusion and outdated recycling infrastructure, the largest barriers to proper recycling. Thanks to President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed two years ago today, EPA was provided the largest recycling investment in 30 years that is funding these two new programs.

 

These grants reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling environmental justice and the climate crisis. Many communities with environmental justice concerns carry a disproportionate environmental and human health burden from waste management. As part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, 100% of the funding allocated in EPA’s SWIFR for Tribes grants and 74% of the funding allocated in the REO grants will benefit underserved and overburdened communities. Increasing recycling is also an important way to reduce pollution because natural resource extraction and processing make up half of all global greenhouse gas emissions that drive the climate crisis. Recycling reduces the need to extract resources such as timber, water, and minerals for new products.

 

Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia

 

 The SWIFR grants for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia will enable Tribes to make improvements to their recycling and waste management systems, meeting Congress’ goal to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system. EPA Region 5 has announced seven selectees to receive $6,246,606 through the program. They include:

  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Minnesota) has been selected to receive $1,500,000. The Tribe will establish a recycling and compost facility and solid waste transfer station that would accept a variety of materials from band members. The recycling and compost facility will focus on end-market users where waste tires, plastics, aluminum, cardboard, film plastics and other materials can be prepared by the Band, and moved to market directly, supporting improvements to local post-consumer materials management and implementing strategies on building a circular economy. This project will allow the Band to expand their recycling and composting capabilities.
  • Bay Mills Indian Community (Michigan) has been selected to receive $970,000. The Tribe will increase recycling and waste diversion rates and reduce contamination. The project seeks to do so through the construction of a new waste transfer station, purchase of supplies and equipment, and working with consultants to implement staff training and recycling programs throughout BMIC. The objective is to expand materials management infrastructure, create accessible recycling infrastructure, and reduce the rate of contamination within the recycling streams.
  • Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Michigan) has been selected to receive $1,084,454 to increase its post-consumer materials management, including the diversion of municipal solid waste from the landfill, and improve and expand recycling and food waste operations. To achieve these goals, the Tribe will update the Integrated Waste Management Plan; develop the GLC Sustainability Department to improve, implement and manage sustainability initiatives; expand and improve the Gun Lake Casino (GLC) food waste management/diversion through the operation of a large-scale food waste digester; and develop plans for a recycling center. Implementation of the objectives will reduce organic materials and recyclables going to local landfills as well as identify source reduction opportunities.
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Wisconsin) has been selected to receive $396,732. The Tribe has maintained a Transfer Station and Recycling Center since 1997. With a variety of pressures such as, an increasing Tribal population, finite landfills, and limited markets and vendors due to remote location, costs of removing solid waste and recycling continue to increase. By adding a reuse center and education tools, upgrading equipment, and expanding the operation area, the Transfer Station can provide adequate recycling services; decrease illegal dumping; encourage reuse of items, which lowers hauler costs; promote proper recycling; and ensure safety of staff and users onsite.
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Michigan) has been selected to receive $240,000 to promote source reduction and increase waste diversion rates throughout the Little Traverse Bay Bands community. The project seeks to purchase reuse infrastructure to increase source reduction at the LTBB Pow Wow Grounds, develop compost and recycling educational materials, and expand waste diversion and collection. Through these tasks, the Tribe will improve source reduction and waste diversion.
  • Forest County Potawatomi Community (Wisconsin) has been selected to receive $555,564. The Tribe’s Recycling Infrastructure Expansion Project will expand its solid waste collection infrastructure and capacity by purchasing additional recycling collection and transport vehicles and strengthening the social infrastructure of the Tribal community through vigorous outreach and education to foster positive consumer behaviors.
  • Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan (Michigan) has been selected to receive $1,499,856 to increase its capacity to collect recycled materials. The Tribe works with local efforts to accomplish short-term and long-term collection goals of surrounding counties. The project will also sustain partnership efforts locally by securing needed equipment and supplies to manage forecasted increase of collected recycling materials. These objectives will be sought by planning a project to enhance recycling information, increase drop-off and pick-up locations and spread recycling awareness efforts through education to the community.

 

To learn more about the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia funding, please visit: EPA’s Recipients and Selectees webpage

Recycling Education and Outreach Grants

The Recycling Education and Outreach grant projects will help inform the public about local recycling and composting programs and focus on increasing collection rates and decreasing contamination of recycling streams across the nation. EPA has announced three selectees to receive $4,756,834 in Recycling Education and Outreach grants. They include:

  • Metropolitan Mayors Caucus in Illinois has been selected to receive $2,000,000 to lead a broadly collaborative recycling outreach and education campaign for northeastern Illinois to serve 275 municipalities and seven counties. The campaign will leverage expertise and knowledge of solid waste agencies, counties, and recycling organizations to effectively educate residents.
  • Michigan Recycling Coalition has been selected to receive $1,821,887 to develop and deliver a comprehensive, best practice education and outreach program to train targeted recycling professionals to learn about and develop CBSM-based education strategies. Using the EPA developed model recycling program toolkit and other available resources, MRC will assemble, add to, and deliver curated education and outreach tools, strategies, training, and resources in conjunction with one-to-one direct assistance to Michigan disadvantaged and rural communities as identified in the Climate and Economic Justice Screening tool. MRC will also deliver nationally certified training to recycling professionals and targeted workshops to organics operators, generators, and users; train trainers to deliver Master Recycler & Master Composter training in communities to develop local expertise and outreach capacity; and develop and deliver recycling education to Michigan businesses.
  • Minnesota Composting Council has been selected to receive $934,947 to develop a toolkit that can be used by communities around the state and nationwide to increase participation and decrease contamination in their residential drop-off or curbside organics recycling programs. The toolkit will include customizable templates to promote organics recycling programs, best management practices documents for promotions, and measuring and reducing contamination. A library of photos and videos showcasing accepted materials and the composting processes at the source-separated organics composting facilities in Minnesota will also be a toolkit component.
     

To learn more about the Recycling Education and Outreach funding, please visit: EPA’s Recipients and Selectees webpage.

America Recycles Day

 

Today marks the 29th America Recycles Day, the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the second anniversary of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy. The National Recycling Strategy was the first in a series of EPA strategies devoted to building a circular economy – one that reduces material use, redesigns materials, products, and services to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.

 

To build upon the goals of the recycling strategy, EPA released the Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution for public comment in April. The Draft Strategy outlines steps to reduce pollution during production, improve management of plastic materials throughout product lifecycles, and encourage actions to keep plastics out of national waterways and the environment. Future strategies will address food waste and electronics.

 

EPA also recently announced over $105 million for the selectees of the historic SWIFR grants for states and communities. These improvements will support a circular economy and help lower greenhouse gas emissions as more efficient waste management systems are key to reducing energy consumption and the need for raw materials, while rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, powered by well-paying jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.

Visit EPA’s website to learn more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

 

EPA offers many free, online resources, including:

 

Learn more about America Recycles Day.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More than $4.9 Million in Recycling Education and Outreach Funding in EPA’s Mid-Atlantic region as Part of America Recycles Day

EPA Air - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 19:00

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More than $4.9 Million in Recycling Education and Outreach Funding in EPA’s Mid-Atlantic region as Part of America Recycles Day

On America Recycles Day and Anniversary of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA announces grants funded in part by the largest recycling investment in 30 years

Contact: EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)
 WASHINGTON (Nov. 15, 2023) – Today, in conjunction with America Recycles Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 25 selectees nationwide to receive over $33 million in Recycling Education and Outreach (REO) grants, nearly $5 million of which is slated for the Mid-Atlantic region. These grants, which are part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, will expand recycling education and outreach for waste management systems across the region.

“Today, on America Recycles Day, we are putting historic recycling investments into communities, made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Two years ago today, the President signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and with it, unleashed unprecedented funding to enable Tribes and communities to update recycling and composting infrastructure, while also advancing education programs to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.”

“These recycling education and outreach grants allow us to meet people where they are – they provide funding to create educational materials and find ways to make recycling easier,” said EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “There’s no one size fits all solution and these grants allow local leaders to custom tailor solutions.”

These recycling grants will help tackle consumer confusion and outdated recycling infrastructure, the largest barriers to proper recycling. Thanks to President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed two years ago today, EPA was provided the largest recycling investment in 30 years that is funding this program.

These grants reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling environmental justice and the climate crisis. Many communities with environmental justice concerns carry a disproportionate environmental and human health burden from waste management. As part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, 74% of the funding allocated in the REO grants will benefit underserved and overburdened communities. Increasing recycling is also an important way to reduce pollution because natural resource extraction and processing make up half of all global greenhouse gas emissions that drive the climate crisis. Recycling reduces the need to extract resources such as timber, water, and minerals for new products.

The Recycling Education and Outreach grant projects will help inform the public about local recycling and composting programs and focus on increasing collection rates while decreasing contamination of recycling streams across the nation. EPA has announced 4 selectees in the Mid-Atlantic region selectees to receive $4,930,047 in Recycling Education and Outreach grants. They include:

  • Delaware Valley Citizens Council for Clean Air has been selected to receive $371,516. The goal of this proposal is to build and support composting systems at the backyard and neighborhood levels in Braddock, Clairton, and Swissvale, Pennsylvania. The Council will co-develop educational workshops, literature, and social media with community members, provide supplies and logistical support, and create a network that will develop and manage composting systems tailored to community needs.​
  • Hampton Roads Planning District Commission has been selected to receive $1,965,525. Representing seventeen local governments in Virginia, this campaign will take a comprehensive approach to improve recycling across multiple jurisdictions by employing techniques such as community engagement, research, targeted route-level audits, direct mailings, and web-based education materials.
  • World Wildlife Fund has been selected to receive $1,164,792. This school-based project is located in four cities across Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee to promote food waste reductions and recycling.
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance has been selected to receive $1,428,214 for a national composting campaign which aims to catalyze implementation and growth of community composting around the county.

To learn more about the Recycling Education and Outreach funding, please visit: EPA’s Recipients and Selectees webpage.

 

America Recycles Day

Today marks both the 29th America Recycles Day, the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the second anniversary of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy. The National Recycling Strategy was the first in a series of EPA strategies devoted to building a circular economy – one that reduces material use, redesigns materials, products, and services to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.

To build upon the goals of the recycling strategy, EPA released the Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution for public comment in April. The Draft Strategy outlines steps to reduce pollution during production, improve management of plastic materials throughout product lifecycles, and encourage actions to keep plastics out of national waterways and the environment. Future strategies will address food waste and electronics.

Visit EPA’s website to learn more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

EPA offers many free, online resources, including:

Learn more about America Recycles Day.

 

###

 

EPA Signs Agreement with the Philippines to Foster Collaboration on Climate Change and Environmental Issues

EPA Air - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, to enhance cooperation on environmental issues. The MOU was signed by EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in Washington, D.C., in advance of a signing ceremony with DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga at the DENR headquarters in Quezon City, Manila. The U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, witnessed the signing.

This new MOU aims to foster collaboration and information exchange on topics such as air quality, water quality, science-informed policy making, climate change adaptation, solid waste management, environmental impact assessment, environmental incident response, environmental justice, and strengthening enforcement and compliance assurance.  The MOU and other information about the Asia-Pacific region are available on EPA’s website.

 “The United States and the Philippines enjoy a strong and robust partnership, and with today’s action we are extending that partnership to address environmental challenges that affect the health and well-being of our people and our planet,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This MOU will strengthen our cooperation and enable us to learn from each other’s best practices and innovations.”

Secretary Loyzaga expressed her appreciation for the MOU and announced, “Today is the first step to our journey towards the enhancement to the Department’s institutional capacity to use science and technology in environmental management…Through this partnership we hope to strengthen compliance and enforcement of environmental laws and ensure science informed policy and regulations.”

“This MOU is the direct result of the pledge made by President Biden and President Marcos during their meeting in May to enhance cooperation on environmental and climate change issues,” commented Ambassador Carlson, “and today’s event is a testament to that commitment.”

As noted in the May 2023 Joint Statement, the President of the United States and the President of the Philippines are committed to enhanced cooperation on environment and climate change issues. This MOU will be in effect for five years, with the ability for extension upon mutual consent. EPA and the DENR will use the MOU to establish a framework for implementing joint work plans and activities.

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