EPA to disperse $600M in anti-pollution grants through regional organizations

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it will disperse $600 million in grants aimed at combating pollution in disadvantaged communities through regional “grantmaking” organizations.

The funding is part of a larger bucket of $3 billion provided by the Inflation Reduction Act aimed at improving environmental justice — that is, addressing the disproportionate amounts of pollution that minority and low-income communities face.

The grants are expected to fund thousands of environmental justice projects.

Vice President Harris told reporters Tuesday that the money would be administered through regional grantmakers, rather than the Environmental Protection Agency, so the projects are finished more quickly and so that smaller community organizations will have access.

“These organizations will be able to review and approve grant applications faster. Not with all the bureaucracy. Not in years, but in months, That means our investment will hit the streets more quickly,” Harris said.

The organizations are expected to begin opening competitions and awarding grants by summer 2024, according to the administration.

Republicans have repeatedly sought to cut the environmental justice funding — though they are unlikely to be able to do so while the Biden administration remains in power.

The 11 organizations that will administer the grants are: Health Resources in Action, Fordham University, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Inc., Research Triangle Institute, The Minneapolis Foundation, Texas Southern University, JSI Research and Training Institute Inc., Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs Inc., Philanthropy Northwest, Institute For Sustainable Communities, and Climate Justice Alliance.

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