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Louisiana receives EPA grant to protect underserved communities from COVID-19

10/22/2020
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS (Oct. 22, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently selected the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services to receive a $200,000 State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement (SEJCA) grant through a competitive grant process. The grant will assist the state in addressing challenges with COVID-19.

“At EPA, we remain committed to supporting programs that protect human health and the environment, especially in overlooked and disadvantaged communities that are adversely impacted by environmental hazards,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “We are proud to support our State and local partners during these challenging times with additional funding from EPA’s State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement grants. This grant will assist the State of Louisiana in promoting healthier living environments in people’s homes in these communities.” 

The project aims to promote Healthy Homes in areas hard hit by COVID-19, such as Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson and Orleans Parishes. These areas also have a high burden of environmental justice (EJ) concerns such as asthma. The project not only supports long term initiatives for improving health and environmental outcomes in EJ communities but also policies that improve living conditions for vulnerable Louisianans.

EPA has actively supported COVID-19 response efforts across the country. As part of these efforts, EPA is providing $2 million in SEJCA grant funding to states, local governments and tribes for projects to benefit low income and minority communities disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic.

Nationally, EPA has announced the selection of nine additional states, tribes, cities and counties around the country that will receive up to $200,000 for a total of $2 million to help low income and minority communities disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic. Funding will be provided once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

Initially, $1 million was set aside for environmental justice projects. Due to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s desire to expand the program to help communities combat health impacts that have been exacerbated by COVID, EPA selected an additional five grants to increase the total awards to $2 million.

Through the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program, EPA is providing grants over a two-year period to work collaboratively with environmental justice communities to understand, promote and integrate approaches to provide meaningful and measurable improvements to public health and the environment.

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