Biden-Harris Administration announces nearly $1.5 million for Environmental Justice Projects in communities across Georgia as part of Investing in America agenda
Selections announced as part of largest investments through EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government grant programs funded by Inflation Reduction Act
ATLANTA (Oct. 25, 2023) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $1.5 million to fund two projects across Georgia that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The Glynn Environmental Coalition and the City of Savannah, which EPA has selected through its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government programs, respectively, will use the funds to ensure disadvantaged communities that have historically suffered from underinvestment 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.”
“Building collaborative partnerships with our stakeholders is vital to addressing local environmental and public health issues,” said Acting EPA Region 4 Administrator Jeanneane Gettle. “Environmental justice communities that have historically suffered from underinvestment will benefit greatly from these projects that promote clean air, water and climate resilience solutions, leading to healthy communities.”
“Above all, this is about our communities’ health. Senator Warnock and I are delivering these new resources through the Inflation Reduction Act to help ensure Coastal Georgia families have access to clean air and clean water,” U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff said. “I thank President Biden, Vice President Harris, Administrator Regan, and Acting Region 4 Administrator Jeaneanne Gettle for their support.”
“I am thrilled to see Georgians continuing to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act that my colleagues and I fought so hard to pass. This latest round of federal funding for Brunswick and Savannah will help improve air quality and provide HVAC services to those who need it, helping make headway in our fight for environmental justice for communities too long left behind,” said U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock. “As a preacher and a public servant, I believe we are called to be good stewards of our environment and its resources, so I will continue to work to deliver more investments to Georgia that will promote healthier communities.”
“I am excited about this award of $1.5 million from the EPA for environmental justice projects in Coastal Georgia, including the City of Savannah,” said Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson, II. “The Biden Administration’s continued focus on equity with regard to environmental protection activities is key for the safeguarding of historic communities throughout the country that have previously been under considered in the environmental protection space.”
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 Georgia include the following:
Glynn Environmental Coalition - $499,835- Community Involvement, Environmental Sampling, and Citizen Science â Developing a Road Map to Dismantle Environmental Racism
- This project proposes three primary activities to empower Brunswick residents to (1) identify the air pollutants historically and currently discharged by local industries and the degree to which these contaminants pose health effects; (2) collect samples for air toxics and sulfur compounds at locations throughout the city including industry fencelines; (3) use sample results to advocate for further investigations or other permit or policy changes as appropriate.
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 selection in Georgia includes the following:
City of Savannah - $1,000,000 - 100% Savannah: Energy Efficiency and Workforce Training Program
- This program is designed to serve households that cannot participate in the free, ratepayer funded program that is available through Georgia Power due to their income or the condition of their home, as well as to provide HVAC services that are not typically included in that program.
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
To learn more about environmental justice at EPA, visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice