Federal funding for environmental justice is beginning to flow.
The Biden administration came into office in 2021 determined to make environmental justice a major priority. President Biden jump started his agenda with a slew of executive orders and the Justice40 Initiative, an effort to address historical underinvestment in disadvantaged communities most impacted by climate change, pollution, and environmental hazards.
Now, with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Washington has the money and programs to act on environmental justice. Just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced $100 million in grants for state and community organizations to address local environmental and public health issues.
How does the federal government decide what projects qualify for environmental justice funding? And how can environmental activists ensure the money is well spent?
This week host Bill Loveless talks with Bob Bullard and Maria Lopez-Nunez.
Bob is a pioneering figure in environmental justice. He is the founding director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice and distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University. He serves on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Maria is the deputy director of organizing and advocacy of Ironbound Community Corporation. She was part of a team that fought for New Jersey to pass landmark environmental justice legislation. Maria also serves on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Together, they discuss the momentum building behind the environmental justice movement and how a new influx of money could shape energy infrastructure projects.