Press Release

Statement on Justice40 Announcement

Biden Administration announces programs that will be part of initiative to help disadvantaged communities

CONTACT:

Dan Radmacher, (540) 798-6683), dan@appvoices.org

Today, the Biden Administration announced the first list of federal programs that are part of its Justice40 initiative, representing more than 200 programs and billions of dollars in federal spending. The initiative seeks to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits of certain federal programs go to disadvantaged communities.

The programs announced today are administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These are the first agencies to announce their Justice40 programs — additional agencies are expected to announce their programs in the coming weeks.

Among the programs identified are the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program, AML Economic Revitalization program, the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Rural Utility Services programs, and the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Reducing Lead in Drinking Water, Superfund and Brownfields programs — all of which are important efforts utilized in Appalachian communities that are dealing with impacts of the fossil fuel industry and its decline.

The programs are listed at the links below:

Interior: https://www.doi.gov/justice40-initiative
Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-initial-list-programs-covered-under-biden-harris-administrations
Agriculture: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2022/06/24/usda-announces-next-steps-biden-harris-administration-initiative
Health and Human Services: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/06/24/hhs-announces-programs-to-join-president-bidens-justice40-initiative.html

Statement by Tom Cormons, Executive Director for Appalachian Voices:
“We are encouraged by the Biden Administration’s announcement today. The programs identified as part of the Justice40 initiative provide crucial services in Appalachian communities. Ensuring that more of the benefits of these programs reach the most disadvantaged areas will be transformational for people living with high energy burdens, fossil fuel pollution and associated health impacts. We look forward to supporting the implementation of this initiative to ensure maximum benefit to environmental justice communities across the country.”

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Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.

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