The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $177 million to environmental groups, including some who publicly supported the Biden administration’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, the agency announced Thursday.
The funding will be spread across 17 groups, which will each receive a minimum of $10 million to serve as Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs), to help “underserved and overburdened communities” access government funding to support environmental justice initiatives, the EPA reported in a press release. Groups named by the EPA include the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), WE ACT for Environmental Justice and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCFEJ), which each supported the president’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act.
While the NWF supported the law in its totality, the other two organizations offered more measured support, over concessions made to fossil fuels at the behest Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The EPA also tapped the Research Triangle Institute — a nearly billion-dollar nonprofit with a longstanding working relationship with the agency — to serve as an environmental justice center.
“These EJ TCTACs are in direct response to feedback from communities and environmental justice leaders who have long called for technical assistance and capacity building support!” the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights said in a tweet thread Thursday. “The EJ TCTAC program is partnered with [the Department of Energy] and is part of the Federal Interagency Thriving Communities Network to deliver on the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities.”
The funding represents a significant boost to groups like the NWF and DSCFEJ, two environmental groups tapped by the EPA. In 2021, the NWF generated roughly $118 million in revenue, while the DSCFEJ generated just $3.54 million in 2020, according to publicly available documentation.
“We know that so many communities across the nation have the solutions to the environmental challenges they face,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan in the press release. “Unfortunately, many have lacked access or faced barriers when it comes to the crucial federal resources needed to deliver these solutions. Today we’re taking another step to break down these barriers.”
Including Thursday’s announcement, the EPA has announced a combined $827 million in funding for environmental justice initiatives in 2023, according to the agency’s press release.
RTI, NWF, DSCFEJ and WE ACT did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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