More than a decade after state regulators issued their first “do not eat” advisory for PFAS-tainted fish, the list of affected Michigan waterways keeps growing.
Michigan health officials this week urged people to limit meals of rainbow smelt caught in lakes Michigan, Huron, and three inland waterways because the fish are tainted with PFAS. They also warned against eating carp from two Livingston County lakes due to PCB contamination.
The warning in Michigan comes as scientists with the Environmental Working Group warn that fish across the country are tainted with high levels of PFAS. A study released Tuesday analyzed 500 fish tissue samples collected from 2013 to 2015, finding average PFAS levels so high that eating a single serving was like drinking a month’s worth of PFAS-laced water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the availability of approximately $100 million for projects that advance environmental justice in underserved and overburdened communities across the country. This funding, made possible through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, marks the largest amount of environmental justice grant funding ever offered by the Agency. EPA has published two Requests for Applications for this funding through the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and the Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program.
These grant programs further the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and Executive Order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which directed that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to overburdened communities that face disproportionately high and adverse health and environmental impacts.
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program
The EJCPS Program will provide an estimated $30 million in funding directly to community-based nonprofit organizations (and partnerships of these organizations), with $5 million reserved for small community-based nonprofit organizations with five or fewer full-time employees. In total, the Agency anticipates funding approximately 50 awards of $500,000 and 30 awards of $150,000.
EPA’s EJCPS Cooperative Agreement Program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working on or planning to work on projects to address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities. The program assists recipients in building collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, academia, etc.) to develop solutions that will significantly address environmental and/or public health issues at the local level.
The Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program
The EJG2G Program (formerly known as the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement program) will provide an estimated $70 million in funding. Of this, $20 million will be for State governments to be used in conjunction with Community-Based Organization (CBO) partners, $20 million will be for local government with CBO partners, $20 million will be for Federally Recognized Tribal Nations with CBO partners, and $10 million will be for U.S. territories and remote tribes with limited access to CBO partners. In total the Agency anticipates funding approximately 70 projects of up to $1 million each for a 3-year project.
The EJG2G Program works to support and/or create model state activities that lead to measurable environmental or public health results in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks. These models should leverage or utilize existing resources or assets of state agencies to develop key tools and processes that integrate environmental justice considerations into state governments and government programs.
Under both EJCPS and EJG2G programs, EPA will be giving special consideration to the following focus areas:
Applicants interested must submit proposal packages on or before April 10, 2023, to be considered for the available funding. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on October 1, 2023.
This funding builds on additional funding from the American Rescue Plan. In December 2021, EPA selected 154 organizations to receive a total of approximately $18.4 million in environmental justice grant funding.
EPA is planning to announce an additional environmental justice grant competition, making extensive use of IRA resources, in early 2023 to establish a network of grant-makers across the United States to facilitate awarding assessment, planning, and project development grants to communities and their partners.
Pre-application Assistance Webinars
EPA will host pre-application assistance webinars to answer prospective applicant questions about the EJ grant process.
To attend the first webinar on January 24, 2023 focused on EJCPS, register here.
To attend the second webinar on January 26, 2023 focused on EJG2G, register here.
When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill this month to legally redefine natural gas as a source of “green energy,” supporters characterized it as the culmination of a grass-roots effort to recognize the Buckeye state’s largest energy source.
“It’s green. It’s clean. And it’s abundant right under our feet, right here in Ohio,” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) wrote in an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch.
But Ohio’s new law is anything but homegrown, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The Empowerment Alliance, a dark money group with ties to the gas industry, helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, the documents show. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, another anonymously funded group whose donors remain a mystery, assisted in the effort.
ALEC — a network of state lawmakers, businesses and conservative donors — circulated proposed legislation for Ohio lawmakers and has urged other states to follow suit, according to the documents, which were obtained via a public records request by the Energy and Policy Institute, a group that advocates for renewable energy.
Deconstructing your company’s ESG Goals to identify key performance indicators and setting milestones can be difficult. It requires the assistance of multiple stakeholders and departments to fully understand the problem, propose goals, and monitor progress towards them. Adding another layer of complexity is coordinating with stakeholders from outside of your organization, especially in the value chain.
Join ISN, the global leader in contractor and supplier management, to hear the importance of tracking ESG metrics throughout the value chain, how to leverage technology to track progress and best practices on integrating ESG expectations across the organization.
Understand the importance of tracking ESG metrics throughout the value chain
Identify potential obstacles and how to overcome them
Hear what best-in-class organizations expect from their contracts and suppliers
Learn how truly sustainable businesses account for all three components of ESG and include metrics for data tracking in each
John Davies, Senior VP, Senior Analyst, GreenBiz Group
Jenny Buckley, Senior Vice President, ISN
Joe Schloesser, Vice President, ISN
Ryan Rodriguez, Senior Group Supervisor, ISN
Walter Haug, Senior ESG Specialist, ISN
If you can’t tune in live, please register and GreenBiz will email you a link to access the webcast recording and resources, available to you on-demand after the live webcast.
According to a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations entities strengthened their environmental governance and staff training in 2021, signaling another year of steady progress toward improving the organization’s environmental sustainability.
By the time plastic products reach their end of life, the bulk of their climate damage has already occurred, according to a study that reaffirms greenhouse gasses tied to plastics are mostly generated in prime resin production, shipping and molding. The study, funded by the Remade Institute, was recently published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
As the environmental impact of food becomes an important indicator for consumers all around the world, private and public initiatives have multiplied. These initiatives use several methodologies to calculate the environmental impact of a product, which means that one product can have different results depending on the method used.
In the European Union, the Commission has decided to address this fragmentation by announcing the publication of a proposal for a regulation on the substantiation of claims relating to the environmental performance of products and businesses.
History professor Robert Morrissey wrote in his new book, People of the Ecotone, about how the ecology of the tallgrass prairie shaped the culture and created unique opportunities for the Indigenous people who lived there.
A recently launched Franco-US satellite is on a mission to survey with unprecedented accuracy nearly all water on Earth’s surface for the first time and help scientists investigate its impact on Earth’s climate.