EPA Urged by AGs to Ensure its New Grant Program Benefits Underserved Communities

  • A coalition of eight Democratic AGs filed comments in response to the EPA’s request for input on its Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) Block Grant Program, urging the agency to ensure that underserved communities enjoy the benefits of the $3 billion to be distributed to community-based organizations through the funding initiative.
  • The ECJ program’s funding is provided by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and is aimed at reducing pollution and promoting clean energy to disadvantaged communities.
  • In the comments, the AGs make a number of recommendations, including that the EPA should (i) incorporate equity in its funding mechanisms to incentivize participation and increase the success rate of funding organizations serving disadvantaged communities; (ii) prioritize projects that are based off of a community-led agenda and provide specific details on how and when community engagement will occur; and (iii) collect feedback directly from impacted community members to track and measure progress and outcomes.