EPA COV-19 Environmental Justice Grant Funding

Guest post by Roger Caiazza

The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. I think most people would agree with me that the intent is to protect human health from air, water, and land environmental risks. In that light it was disconcerting to me to see the following announcement from for $1 million in grants to states to “help local environmental justice communities address COVID-19 concerns faced by low-income and minority communities”.

EPA defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys: the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and

equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”

The request for applications states that applications must address the impacts of COVID-19 through public education, planning, and training activities related to COVID-19 including but not limited to: “1) sharing information related to EPA approved disinfectants to combat COVID-19, 2) addressing underserved residents’ increased exposure to in-home pollutants and healthy housing issues as an unintended consequence of local stay-at-home orders, and 3) training of community health workers as community educators for environmental justice communities.

While there is no disputing low-income and minority communities have historically been disproportionately impacted by air, water, and land environmental risks the question is whether COVID-19 grants are an appropriate way to address those risks. EPA plans to award five cooperative agreements in the approximate amount of $200,000 each. Given what the release says about what the money is to be used for, wouldn’t this be a more appropriate thing for the Department of Health or Center for Disease Control to do? Finally, grants are due at the end of June, grants start October 1 and the grants can run for two years, what will there be to do in that timeframe for the education, planning and training activities?

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EPA Provides Grant Funding to Support Environmental Justice Communities Impacted by COVID-19; New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Impacted

Contact: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

NEW YORK (April 30, 2020) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to improve the environment and public health conditions of low-income and minority communities through our daily efforts to ensure all Americans have clean air, safe water, and access to information to make decisions to protect personal and public health. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, EPA is making $1 million in grant funding available to states to help local environmental justice communities address COVID-19 concerns faced by low-income and minority communities.

Through the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program, EPA will provide funds to states, local governments, tribes and U.S. territories 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.

“Environmental justice grants aim to support public education, training, and emergency planning for communities across the country impacted by COVID-19, regardless of their zip code,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These grants are part of EPA’s effort to actively fight the COVID-19 pandemic that is having a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities.”

The grant funding will be used to support public education, training, and emergency planning for communities impacted by COVID-19. Projects could include sharing information related to EPA-approved disinfectants to combat COVID-19; addressing increased exposure of residents to in-home pollutants and healthy housing issues; and training community health workers.

EPA anticipates awarding five grants of approximately $200,000 each for up to a two-year funding period. The agency encourages applicants to develop innovative plans and processes to conduct effective outreach to underserved communities, especially in places where Internet access may not be readily available to all residents.

Interested applicants must submit proposal packages on or before June 30, 2020 to be considered for the available funding.

To apply for funding: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/state-environmental-justice-cooperative-agreement-program

Roger Caiazza blogs on New York energy and environmental issues at Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York. This represents his opinion and not the opinion of any of his previous employers or any other company he has been associated with.

32 thoughts on “EPA COV-19 Environmental Justice Grant Funding

  1. Dang the EPA is scrambling.

    They need to avoid phrases like “Environmental Justice” if they are jumping on the COVID-19 bandwagon,especially with skeptics in the White House.

    JMO but working collaboratively with environmental justice communities doesn’t exactly sound like a partnership anyone wants to join….given how they are all about the extinction of the human plague on the Earth that is.

    • The EPA is correct about “environmental justice”. MOST (not all) Poor people live in horrible conditions in America. A horrid environment. Where? In the grimy, nasty, squalor of high density cities … right where the EPA (and phony “greens”) WANT them to live.

      I admit, that I LOVE the environment of my wealthy, healthy suburb. Looking out my window right now … looking at the beautiful green hills, bright sunshine, and singing birds … is effing WONDERFUL! And yes … none but the VERY MOST well-heeled citizens need apply. The cost of property and even rents in my beautiful suburbs (that the EPA hates) is simply out of reach … unless you are a successful Lawyer, CEO, or valued high tech genius.

      So what does the EPA continue to do? Denigrate my beautiful suburban life, where we restrict growth and preserve our hillsides (and oak trees … every oak is sacred). Our NIMBYism keeps out all the poor people. Our NIMBYism keeps our suburb beautiful. Yet the EPA and (Obama’s) HUD attack my beautiful environment. They are FORCING us to admit poor people … by FORCING us to increase density and make our suburb more like the mean streets of industrial Oakland, CA. Forcing us to build “affordable” housing.

      Pro tip: When the EPA and HUD manage to “environmentally justice my suburb” to become more like their preferred urban hellholes … we well-heeled residents will simply FLEE … to another beautiful tract of land where we will congregate with our own kind (rich people). It’s what rich people do (see: all of Obama’s homes).

      “Environmental Justice” is nothing more than a perpetual poor machine … funded by rich people to assuage their guilt for living BETTER than poor people. Hint: the only way to true “Environmental justice”? Get educated in a field that is in-demand … work hard … be wise with your money … get wealthy … and move to the beautiful suburbs or other low-density haven and enjoy our beautiful earth. Inotherwords … follow the American Dream. Embrace capitalism.

      • Environmental justice is no justice at all. First, it does not seek to punish those who deliberately did harms to the victims (always some demographic group). It seeks to redistribute wealth from people who did nobody any to harm and give it to the purported victims. That is, rob Peter to pay Paul for something Mark may or may not have done.

        • The theory is that just having wealth is evidence of having harmed someone, in order to gain that wealth.

          As someone here quoted, why is it that making money is being greedy, but wanting to take that earned money away from those that earned it is not?

          (from someone who is happily retired from 50 on earned money)

          • Congrats of retirement at 50! And you’re not a government employee? Wow! That’s rare. Assumed … because you appear to be stingy and don’t want your wealth transferred to some poor gal who’s being unjustly abused by her environment.

            I hope you live in a beautiful suburb or even better … some rural setting with acres of open space. Certainly not in some God awful urban hellhole that the “environmentalists” consider “ideal”.

          • Thanks Kenji. Yes, I have my own little slice of tropical paradise that allows me to avoid everyone if I please. The older I get, the more I do.

  2. Roger Caiazza sounds like a reasonable person, and I have two thoughts, re: 1. he is correct that the more Health issues centered agencies would be the more correct for this type of funding, if indeed it is necessary, and 2. a million dollars per state (plus 2) for two years is about $104 million, and that pales to insignificance compared to the TRILLIONS of dollars that are thrown into the Covid-19 fight/offset/adjustment. Happy Communist Workers of the World Unite Day! Stay sane and safe.

  3. Sorry, but having dealt with these grants on behalf of more than one nonprofit trying to break into this as a funding source, I have concluded the winners are decided in advance and this is simply a corrupt way to funnel money into specific groups supporting specific political ideologies. This is just corrupt government waste and bureaucracies making sure “their” kind of people win. No matter how well done your grant you won’t get a red cent. You will be rejected on spurious grounds. I recall one instance where there were two ways to calculate a budget and no direction as to which way was right or wrong. We could get no guidance on the right or wrong way so we guessed. We did get a call telling us we needed to partner with another local group which we had already partnered with previously. The result was we did all the work and they kept half the money and did nothing. So we refused to do that again. Our entire grant was rejected without even being considered for its merits over $3.14 in a grant of over $500,000 because we didn’t guess the correct way to calculate something. Corrupt corrupt corrupt. The whole EPA thing should be disbanded as a waste of tax payer dollars.

    • The chosen recipients that will be wired into this grant almost certainly approached the EPA to suggest the grants be proposed. Possibly triggered by Fauci’s remarks that COVID-19 was hitting the ‘ethnic minority communities’ harder – and this was due to societal issues – all very ‘WOKE’….. Except that it has now been shown that the ethnic minorities genotype leads to a lot more ACE2 receptors for corona viruses to latch to so they get more easily infected and worse infections.

      This will not prevent people jumping on the social justice issues of COVID-19, how EPA thinks they should be involved is more difficult to understand.

      • Now there you go … using REAL science. And suggesting Dr. Fauci (who appears to have given MORE interviews than anyone EVER on the planet) … is errant! How DARE you! He’s a “scientist” doing “science” – talking. So … he was wrong and 200,000 Californians didn’t die of COVID-19 … and Gavin Newsom was WRONG when he said CA needed 50,000 more hospital beds (Hint: my County’s 1500 hospital beds never saw more than 35 COVID-19 patients). That’s no reason to “bash” Fauci’s FALSEhood about minorities (who also have a greater rate of all co-morbidities).

    • Yes Justin, government $$$s recipients dealings are the same world over.
      In my business management days, I used to tell my sales people not to waste time responding to government tenders unless they had been at the table advising what the tender should say.

  4. The pork barrel is full due to the trillions of dollars being wasted. Go to the trough. Not meaningful work but work that will increase regulations. Pork leveraged to destroy productive life.

    • Just another case of scope creep by government agencies – why fund one agency when you can fund two or more (EPA does disease??).

  5. Rule of thumb any “justice” preceding with with adjective is no kind of justice at all. For our statist bureaucrats environmental justice means punishing somebody who did nobody any harm because somebody else harmed some other people. “Harm” is typically defined as some unequal outcome involving various grievance groups.

    What if somebody pollutes the water (clear violation of the Clean Waters Act) and the EPA goes after them? That’s just justice.

  6. The difference between Justice and Environmental Justice is the same as between a Jacket and a Straitjacket.

  7. Pursuant my “equal access to the decision-making process” I hereby demand an immediate dissolution of the EPA’s Office of Environment Justice.

    • They haven’t consulted with me either.

      I wasn’t even notified that they were making decisions about how to distribute grant monies.

      My guess is that someone else, not in the EPA, had more access to the (pre)decision making process.

  8. Who in particular did they have in mind for this grant “program” anyway? That’s what this is about.

  9. Environmental protection and CoVID should not be part of the same policy prescription. One has almost nothing to do with the other. CoVID is an issue related to wild food sources, communist state research programs, poor public health management and population dynamics. It has nothing to do with air, water or land pollution and neither does CO2. The only commonality I am aware of is the use of non-validated computer models as justification for bad policy.

  10. I’m working on a time-machine project to bring us back in November 2019 and be better prepared to face the pandemic.

    Where do I apply for grants ?

  11. “Environmental Justice” is what happens when a climate activist goes to Arctic to film the “gentle cuddly polar bears” for their latest propaganda ad, and the bears try to eat them. (but they escape because I do not like it when people die)

    Or they tear out a healthy thriving forest to build their green solar array, and a giant sinkhole swallows it into darkness.

    Or they build a huge expensive solar array, and it freezes up at night so that they have to use fossil fuel to keep it warm.

    Or they destroy a landscape with their wind turbines slaughtering birds and bats, and a tornado removes the Wind Warts restoring safety to the flying animals.

    That is “Environmental Justice”.

    • Department of Energy

      President Trump Signs Executive Order Securing the United States Bulk-Power System

      MAY 1, 2020

      https://www.energy.gov/articles/president-trump-signs-executive-order-securing-united-states-bulk-power-system

      Today’s Executive Order prohibits Federal agencies and U.S. persons from acquiring, transferring, or installing BPS equipment in which any foreign country or foreign national has any interest and the transaction poses an unacceptable risk to national security or the security and safety of American citizens. Evolving threats facing our critical infrastructure have only served to highlight the supply chain risks faced by all sectors, including energy, and the need to ensure the availability of secure components from American companies and other trusted sources.

      Accordingly, under this Executive Order, the Secretary of Energy is authorized to do the following:

      • SECURITY

        China and America’s 400-ton electric albatross

        For months, Trump administration officials have hopscotched across Europe to warn governments that China’s telecom giants are duplicitous and their real aim is to spy on the West.

        But one layer under the high-profile U.S.-China telecom fight are concerns about other core technology that rolls off China’s factory lots. In the U.S. energy sector, China’s emergence as a maker of large power transformers has grabbed the attention of industry executives and U.S. officials. Transformers are the backbone of America’s power grid.

        “There have been over 200 Chinese transformers that have come into the U.S. energy sector in the last 10 years,” said Charles Durant, deputy director of counterintelligence at the Department of Energy. “Before that, there were zero.”

        Karen Evans, DOE’s assistant secretary for cybersecurity, energy security and emergency response, said her office is looking at the supply-chain threat posed by transformers. “We know the risk associated with that,” she said.

        https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060216451/

        • But transformers contain elements that are really nasty to the environment. Don’t we LIKE making those things in shithole countries like Communist China? Let their people die from exposure to the nasty business in the transformers? You know … it’s like driving a Tesla … where the POOR neighborhoods suffer the harmful effects of all the power generated to “fuel” your eco saloon. Or like Apple fabricating all the nasty bits of their kewl products in a country with ZERO environmental regulations? Don’t we all NEED Com.China … as our dumping ground? Yeayyyy globalism!

  12. I wonder which law mandates the EPA to pursue “environmental justice” or which law permits it? I’m certain the answer is there is no such law. This is something the agency implemented without authorization.

    Even programs that are good ideas must be authorized. And this is not a good program. It’s Marxist activism

  13. Oh no, that seals it — COVID-19 is now fully politicized for grant seeking.

    There’s gold in them thar COVID-19 deaths!

    Death certificates may as well be stock certificates now.

  14. And while I’m still on top of my box of outrage, how is Covid-19 an environmental issue? Yes, the poor live in crappy environments. But the impact of Covid-19 upon certain communities is because of the poor health choices made by the poor. Lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity and hypertension go together with being poor. Solve the problem of poverty and these communities will be less impacted.

    Very few of this money will get into the purported recipients’ pockets. It will go to pay the activists.

  15. major solar energy player leaves some customers seething

    https://capitolweekly.net/a-major-solar-energy-player-leaves-some-customers-seething/

    This sounds too good to be true, was one of Brenda Ortiz’s first thoughts when a salesman showed up at her front door in Riverside County in October 2018. He was with Vivint Solar, Ortiz recalled him saying, and was working with her local utility, Southern California Edison, to find people who qualified for free solar panels.

    Ortiz declined the offer. But she heard from neighbors that the salesman came back, stopping at homes along her cul-de-sac. One day, he swung by Brenda’s house and found her husband, Carlos, working in the garage. Carlos said he had been toying with the idea of getting a solar system, and he thought the salesman’s pitch to slash their electrical bill sounded good. He signed a power purchase agreement—a 20-year contract to pay Vivint Solar for power generated by the solar panels.

    If current trends hold, there will be over 4 million solar installations by 2023.

    When the first bills came in, the couple realized their power costs were going up, not down. “I was literally physically ill,” Brenda Ortiz told FairWarning.

    For the first time, they took a close look at their 16-page contract. They recalled the friendly salesman saying they would pay only for the power they used. But the contract said they would be charged for all the power produced by the panels. The salesman could not be reached for comment.

    …Some folks need enviro justice…

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