EPA announces $400k for Milwaukee and Madison to fund Environmental Justice initiatives

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will provide $200,000 each for Milwaukee and Madison for Environmental Justice (EJ) initiatives.

It will be through funds allocated to EPA under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). 

"These initiatives in Milwaukee and Madison will help areas that are overburdened with pollution,” said EPA Region 5 Acting Administrator Cheryl Newton. "Advancing environmental justice is part of EPA’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment in all communities.”

Officials say in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, congress designated the funding for grants, contracts, and other agency activities that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities.

“This federal funding from EPA will help support great work being done in Madison and Milwaukee on solutions to local COVID-19 public health issues,” said U.S Senator Tammy Baldwin. “I know President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan are committed to helping our state address racial disparities in health outcomes and this investment in Wisconsin shows that they support us and the work we are doing at the local level.”

EPA announced $200,000 in funding to Milwaukee for outreach and education about indoor air quality through a Health People, Homes and Neighborhood campaign.

“Milwaukee is committed to be a healthier, safer, and more sustainable community.  By directly addressing racial disparities, we can improve the lives of Milwaukee residents who are most vulnerable,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “This environmental justice grant is a welcome addition to our efforts.”

Officials say the campaign to predominately African American and Latinx neighborhoods will help to distribute information about COVID-19, safe disinfectants, low-cost methods for controlling home energy use and ways to prevent exposure to lead, mold, and other contaminants. 

"Communities of color in Milwaukee have experienced health, education, and economic disparities that were only magnified during the pandemic. Now, we must make conscious efforts to fight these inequities and secure equity for our residents,” said U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore. “With this environmental justice grant for the City of Milwaukee’s Healthy People, Homes and Neighborhoods program, we can empower residents with the tools and knowledge to keep their communities healthy and safe and protect their homes from environmental hazards."

To learn more about the ARP, click here

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