IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 22, 2021
Ms. Duckworth (for herself, Mr. Booker, and Mr. Carper) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to carry out certain programs relating to environmental justice, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Environmental Justice for Communities Act of 2021.
Congress finds that—
communities of color, low-income communities, Tribal and indigenous communities, fossil fuel-dependent communities, and other vulnerable populations, such as persons with disabilities, children, and the elderly, are disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards that include exposure to polluted air, waterways, and landscapes;
environmental justice disparities are also exhibited through a lack of equitable access to information and data on potential exposure to environmental hazards;
communities experiencing environmental injustice have been subjected to systemic racial, social, and economic injustices and face—
a disproportionate burden of adverse human health or environmental effects;
a higher risk of intentional and structural discrimination; and
disproportionate pollution burdens;
the disproportionate burdens described in paragraph (3)—
are being exacerbated by the COVID–19 pandemic; and
will be addressed with resources provided to environmental justice communities in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117–2); and
citizen involvement and empowerment will be essential for environmental justice communities to protect themselves during the COVID–19 pandemic.
Environmental justice grant programs
Environmental justice grants
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall continue to carry out—
the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program and the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program, as those programs are in existence on the date of enactment of this Act; and
the Community Action for a Renewed Environment grant programs I and II, as in existence on January 1, 2012.
Not later than 30 days after amounts are made available pursuant to subsection (c), the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall make awards of grants under each of the programs described in subsection (a).
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the programs described in subsection (a) $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2027.