Report Includes Formal Responses to Recommendations from First-Ever White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, Details Actions Taken Across Federal Government to Implement Recommendations

Today, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a report submitted to Congress, outlining the historic steps the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to implement recommendations from the first-ever White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC). The report is a formal response to recommendations the WHEJAC provided on the Justice40 Initiative, the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), and revisions on Executive Order 12898 on Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. The report fulfills a statutory obligation under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide a report to Congress within one year of receiving recommendations from a federal advisory committee.

The WHEJAC was established by President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad to fulfill his and Vice President Harris’s commitment to confronting longstanding environmental injustices and to ensure that marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities have greater input on Federal policies and decisions.

“WHEJAC members devoted countless hours—sacrificing nights and weekends—to provide us with these formal recommendations, and we are grateful for all of their time, effort, and expertise,” CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory wrote in the report. “As the updates in this report make clear, Federal agencies are undertaking fundamental reforms—many of which are consistent with and pursuant to the recommendations of the WHEJAC—to deliver real results for families and communities who have been denied clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment for far too long.”

Chair Mallory continued, “I am encouraged by the progress we have made over the past year, clear-eyed about the scale of the work that still lies ahead, and confident that if we continue to listen to the voices and perspectives of the WHEJAC and other environmental justice leaders and communities, we will deliver a cleaner, healthier future for all.”

WHEJAC Recommendations Inform Ongoing and Future Federal Work

The Biden-Harris Administration has made achieving environmental justice a top priority—launching much-needed initiatives to deliver change in communities, including by creating the WHEJAC, the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council, the Justice40 Initiative, and the CEJST. As part of the response to recommendations from the WHEJAC, today’s report outlines the scale and scope of efforts to deliver on the President’s commitments, including steps taken to embed environmental justice into agency practices, processes, policies, and procedures. While today’s report provides an update on progress being made, it also makes clear there is much work yet to be done. The pursuit of environmental justice will require ongoing and sustained work from agencies, deep cultural change across the government, Congressional and budgetary support, and ongoing input from the WHEJAC and environmental justice leaders and communities. As part of its review of steps taken over the past year, today’s report describes how, based on the recommendations of the WHEJAC and ongoing communications with Federal agencies, CEQ has been working diligently to develop recommendations for a durable, impactful, and effective approach for updating Executive Order 12898. It is anticipated that a draft executive order updating Executive Order 12898 will be ready for the President’s consideration and review in the summer of 2022.

In developing the beta version of the CEJST, which was mandated by Executive Order 14008 and launched on February 18, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration incorporated recommendations provided by the WHEJAC. The adopted recommendations include: creating an iterative tool that will be continuously updated as new data becomes available; developing a tool that integrates local community knowledge; building a tool with open source frameworks to facilitate data sharing and collaboration; incorporating data from a wide range of Federal agencies; and incorporating datasets responsive to many of the indicators identified by the WHEJAC.

The WHEJAC also provided detailed recommendations that have already had a profound influence on how the Federal government is implementing the Justice40 Initiative. In July 2021, for example, the Administration issued formal Interim Implementation Guidance to Federal agencies on how to transform eligible programs to deliver 40 percent of their overall benefits to disadvantaged communities. This direction relied heavily on recommendations provided by the WHEJAC report. For example, the formal guidance identified examples of the kind of benefits that Federal agencies could consider tracking as part of their Justice40 strategies. More than 90 percent of these example benefits echo specific recommendations made by the WHEJAC in its May 2021 report. In addition, the interim guidance identified 21 covered programs to be included in the Justice40 Pilot. These 21 programs took steps to implement the Justice40 Initiative at an expedited pace, with the goal of providing lessons and best practices that could be applied across the whole-of-government. Out of the 21 programs selected to be a Justice40 Pilot, 85 percent were informed by the WHEJAC recommendations issued in May 2021. 

Key Report Excerpts on the Justice40 Initiative

Below is a sampling and summary of a few of the nearly 200 WHEJAC recommendations on the Justice40 Initiative that Federal agencies are acting on, with page references to the report and links to additional information. These are just a few of the many examples of actions that agencies are taking that address the WHEJAC’s recommendations—detailed across over 150 pages in the full report.

Cut pollution from diesel buses and trucks

WHEJAC Recommendation: “School buses and sanitation trucks are some of the dirtiest vehicles that travel throughout EJ communities spewing diesel exhaust and fine particulates which contribute to poor air quality.” (p.22)

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making unprecedented investments to cut pollution from diesel school buses. EPA just announced $500 million is now available for school districts and other eligible school bus operators and contractors to begin replacing the nation’s fleet of school buses with clean, American-made, zero-emission buses. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems that hurt our communities and cause students to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. New, zero-emission and low-emission buses will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but produce cleaner air for students, bus drivers, school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities that the buses drive through each day. This represents the first round of funding out of the unprecedented $5 billion investment for low and zero-emission school buses over the next five years, secured through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. (p.22)
  • Sanitation trucks are eligible for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant program, which Congress recently appropriated $92 million for in Fiscal Year 2022, the largest amount outside of the Recovery Act ever for the program. (p.22)
  • The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation—a collaborative office created in accordance with the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and shared by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)—will be providing technical assistance to the EPA in support of its efforts to electrify school buses. (p.154)

Ensure that communities experience the benefits of clean energy

WHEJAC Recommendation: Installing rooftop solar, community solar, energy efficiency upgrades to homes and buildings would lower the cost of electricity to most individuals in frontline and low-income communities. . . .” (p.85)

  • The Administration has secured an unprecedented level of funding for programs that promote energy efficiency and weatherization, and health and safety. DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program provides a historic $3.5 billion from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, reducing energy costs for more than 700,000 low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring health and safety and creating jobs. (p.95)
  • The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now receiving an additional $500 million to prioritize eligible households with young children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. This funding comes on top of an $8.2 billion investment in LIHEAP through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Fiscal Year 2022 block grant funding. (p.115)
  • DOE and HHS recently announced a pilot for a community solar system subscription program for LIHEAP recipients to power the equivalent of 5 million households and yield $1 billion in energy bill savings by 2025. (p.103)
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is also working to deliver solar power to multifamily housing by working to reduce barriers to access. HUD, for example, has determined that D.C. Solar for All’s community-net-metering credits will be excluded from household income and utility allowance calculations and therefore will not increase housing costs for residents in properties participating in HUD multifamily rental assistance programs. (p.129)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Prioritize federal funding for rooftop/on-site/localized solar and battery energy storage systems…The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has allocated $9.7 billion for electric system work in Puerto Rico…FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) can also be used for rooftop/on-site/localized solar and battery energy storage systems.”  (p.171)

  • FEMA is committed to supporting Puerto Rico’s recovery through equitable, sustainable, and resilient solutions. In line with Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, FEMA works with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to maximize the flexibility of FEMA funding, including the ability to pursue renewable energy resources. In coordination with the Puerto Rico Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, FEMA is providing assistance to restore disaster-damaged facilities to an industry standard, without regard to pre-disaster condition—a flexibility that includes the ability to pursue renewable energy resources. (p.171)
  • For all Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs, including Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, rooftop/on-site/localized solar and battery energy storage systems may be eligible for funding. FEMA also recently released guidance for Hazard Mitigation Grant Funding for Microgrid Projects that highlights the benefits of microgrids to strengthen community lifelines and mitigate natural hazard risks. (p.172)

Create community-based transportation hubs

WHEJAC Recommendation: “We should invest in transportation hubs because the communities that are most impacted by the lack of access to transportation are the low-income, people of color, and elderly communities.” (p.152)

  • To promote increased access for environmental justice populations, promote racial equity, and reduce barriers to opportunity, DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) opened their discretionary Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning grant program for applications. Through this program, DOT provides funding for comprehensive or site-specific planning that supports economic development, increased transit ridership, multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improved transit access for pedestrian, bicycle, and micro-mobility traffic, and increased mixed-use development near transit stations, and addresses climate change and environmental justice. To help address equity issues surrounding housing, applications are encouraged to submit projects that improve access to affordable housing options. DOT also recently announced the award of approximately $11 million to 20 projects in 12 states for TOD planning grants to support community efforts that improve access to public transportation. (pp.152-153)
  • FTA is seeking to address racial inequity and environmental injustice by promoting planning, engineering, or development of technical or financing plans for transit service and facilities improvements through its Areas of Persistent Poverty Program. Additionally, DOT recently launched a pilot program that will dedicate $1 billion from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over the next 5 years to reconnecting communities and helping reduce barriers to mobility, access, or economic development. (pp.153-154)

Expand access to essential clean water and wastewater services

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Support the retrofit of lead water pipe infrastructure.” (p.105)

  • EPA is committed to using every tool available—statutory authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, technical assistance, funding for lead service line removal, and more—to protect all Americans from lead in drinking water. EPA will work collaboratively with local, state, and Federal partners to make rapid progress on President Biden’s vision to remove 100% of lead service lines, with a focus on prioritizing communities that are disproportionately impacted by lead contamination. Additionally, EPA announced next steps to strengthen the regulatory framework on lead in drinking water. Following the agency’s review of the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions under Executive Order 13990, EPA will pursue significant opportunities to improve the rule to support the overarching goal of proactively removing lead service lines and more equitably protecting public health. (p.27)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Expand project eligibility criteria of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to include homes, residences, schools, and childcare facilities. Eligibility criteria should include prioritizing highly impacted communities with a legacy of drinking water contamination in homes & apartment buildings. Eligibility requirements should allow access to families and renters.” (p.29)

  • EPA is working to ensure that the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), both Justice40 Pilot Programs, are delivering much-needed resources and benefits to communities identified by the WHEJAC in their report. For example, each state implements its CWSRF program, adhering to Federal requirements, and selects projects using a priority setting system. Many states establish affordability criteria to provide priority to communities and projects that may have historically been underserved due to their socioeconomic situation. Administrator Regan has also provided clear guidance to state, local, and Tribal partners on how to implement the CWSRF and DWSRF in a manner that delivers clean and safe water and replaces lead pipes for all Americans, especially in disadvantaged communities. (pp.29, 33)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Ensure Every Home Has a Wastewater System and Indoor Plumbing.” (p.105)

  • During the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Water and Environmental Program (WEP) has obligated $553 million in assistance to rural environmental justice communities (a mix of rural Alaska Native villages, Tribes, Colonias, and Persistent Poverty Counties), which is approximately 75% of all year-to-date obligations. With six months remaining in FY 2022, WEP is on pace to not only fulfill, but far surpass, the Justice40 goal of directing 40% of funding toward rural environmental justice communities. Additionally, to better track assistance relating to Justice40 goals, at the beginning of FY 2022, WEP began collecting and monitoring information on whether funded projects would contribute to this Initiative. (p.77)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Create a federal low-income water and sewer bill assistance program. This program will assist low-income customers with paying their water and sewer bills. This will be structured as grants to state and Tribal entities to provide direct assistance to low-income water and sewer customers, similar in concept to the established Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This would bring parity to water, as the federal government already recognizes heat and home energy as essential to well-being.” (p.105)

  • HHS launched the new Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) that provides funds to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP grants are available to States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and Federally and state-recognized Indian Tribes and tribal organizations that received Fiscal Year 2021 LIHEAP grants. (p.105)

Bolster climate resilience in communities and ensure equitable disaster recovery

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Invest in flood mitigation and climate resilience infrastructure (green and gray) in Black and other communities of color who are systemically overlooked when disaster strikes and systemically excluded from investments in stormwater management, drainage and flood protection. . . .” (p.33)

  • The EPA’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program is providing grants, through the states, to enable financially distressed communities to invest in stormwater and climate resiliency projects. These funds will invest millions in overflow and stormwater infrastructure with at least 25% of the fund reserved for financially distressed communities or rural communities having a population 10,000 or less. (p.33)
  • The EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act, or WIFIA program, is also serving as another viable option to finance a wide variety of infrastructure investments, including stormwater management and climate resiliency projects, in communities. EPA is administering the WIFIA program in a manner that provides low-cost, long-term loans to water, wastewater, and stormwater projects across the country. Additionally, EPA’s Office of Water is developing a new program to increase drinking water system resilience to natural hazards including from the impacts of climate change. (pp.33, 35).

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Establish a policy for disaster recovery dollars to fund healthy land restoration in environmental justice communities.” (p.53)

  • The WHEJAC also underscored the need for greater enforcement of laws designed to ensure that state governments spend disaster and emergency funds in an equitable and nondiscriminatory way, including individual assistance, hazard mitigation, and public assistance. Addressing this concern, HUD is using its civil rights enforcement authority to ensure equitable investments in disaster recovery and mitigation. The agency investigates allegations of discrimination in grantees’ administration of these funds, and takes enforcement action where appropriate to ensure more equitable distribution and administration of recovery and mitigation funds. (p.135)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Require public input and hearings for investments in disaster recovery efforts to ensure impacted communities have a voice in how funds are spent.” (p.131)

  • Citizen participation is both encouraged and required throughout the HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grant process. Grantees must prominently publish their proposed Action Plans (the plans describing the use of CDBG-DR funds) on their public websites and must hold public hearings and provide a reasonable opportunity for citizen comment on the Action Plans. (p.132)
  • FEMA Public Assistance provides a public comment period as part of the structured policy and regulatory development process, wherein public stakeholders may provide suggestions for improving disaster assistance and outreach to impacted communities. Additionally, Executive Order 13985 has enabled FEMA to look more closely at marginalized and underserved communities to ensure the agency is providing a tailored level of assistance to all stakeholders. Through directives such as the assignment of additional Program Delivery Managers to applicants with high social vulnerability index (SVI) scores, FEMA is able to proactively assist applicants and subapplicants to push their recovery efforts forward. (p.173)

Respect Tribal sovereignty and rights

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Carry out the nation-to-nation consultative duties of the U.S. to federally recognized Tribes in the identification, planning, and implementation of infrastructure investments and projects, consistent with the January 21, 2021, Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships and Best Practices on Consultation.” (p.15)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “There are currently underfunded programs for federally-recognized Tribes tied to energy infrastructure, and Tribal consultation is crucial as connected to recommendations for how to build on and improve these programs, and whether there are lessons learned that can be carried over to other agencies and to new or forthcoming investments and projects.” (p.16)

  • In 2021, the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture issued a joint Secretarial Order to ensure that their Departments manage Federal lands and waters in a manner that seeks to protect the treaty, religious, subsistence, and cultural interests of federally recognized Indian Tribes including the Native Hawaiian Community. (p.112)
  • In 2022, the Department of the Interior approved the first application for a Tribally owned Tribal Energy Development Organization. (p.112)
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Climate Resilience Program is facilitating climate preparedness and resilience for federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages through technical and financial assistance, access to science, and educational opportunities. In 2021, the program awarded $13.8 million to Tribes and Tribal organizations for climate adaptation planning, ocean and coastal management planning, and capacity building. The Tribally-designed and delivered training and awards are expected to benefit nearly 255,000 Tribal people. In addition, the adaptation planning and data development awards are estimated to benefit over 444,000 Tribal people, and the ocean and coastal work funding is estimated to benefit almost 55,000 Tribal people. Fifteen Alaska Native Villages and two Tribal Nations in the lower 48 received funding to support relocation, managed retreat, and protect-in-place decisions benefitting over 13,000 Indian people facing threats related to melting sea ice, degrading permafrost, extreme precipitation and flooding, and other related impacts. (p.111)
  • Additionally, many Federal agencies have developed or updated new policies for Tribal Consultations to center Indigenous voices. In response to President Biden’s Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships and Best Practices on Consultation in 2021, Federal agencies have been engaging in Nation-to-Nation consultations to honor Tribal sovereignty and to work more effectively with Tribal Nations. Agencies have detailed these actions in many places across the report. (pp.84, 141, 180)

Bridge the digital divide

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Expand covered functions of the HUD Utility Allowance to include internet service. Currently, HUD’s Utility Allowance doesn’t cover internet service. However, without this service, those in public housing lack access to opportunities to find new work, workers cannot attend training programs, and children lack access to complete homework after school.” (p.80)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Reduce or eliminate matching requirements for broadband construction projects in environmental justice coal-impacted communities. It is critical to subsidize broadband construction in coal-impacted communities and existing grant programs. Programs at ARC, EDA, USDA, and NTIA are important tools for increasing access. In coal-impacted areas, the match requirements are prohibitive and limit the number of communities who can apply for funding.” (p.79)

  • The Administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a recently-announced benefit program that provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Residents of HUD-assisted housing will be eligible for the internet service benefit without the benefit impacting residents’ housing or utility subsidies. In May, the Administration announced commitments from 20 leading internet providers—covering more than 80% of the U.S. population across urban, suburban, and rural areas—to either increase speeds or cut prices, making sure they all offer ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30/month. (p.136)
  • The Department of Commerce (DOC)’s Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program is providing $268 million for the expansion of broadband availability, connectivity, and digital inclusion at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISIs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), as well as in their surrounding anchor communities. (pp.88-89)
  • The DOC National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is providing up to $980 million to eligible Tribal entities to expand access to and adoption of broadband service on Tribal lands. (p.88)
  • USDA is providing up to $350 million for Tribal Nations for internet access, and the ReConnect Program funds the construction and expansion of broadband infrastructure in rural areas where sufficient access is not available to at least 90% of the households. Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided $2 billion in additional funding for USDA broadband programs, most of which went to the ReConnect Program ($1.926 billion). The Act also includes a statutory waiver of the 25% matching funds requirement for Alaska Native Corporations, federally recognized Tribes, projects serving Colonias, and projects serving persistent poverty counties—communities that can overlap with coal-impacted communities. (p.79)

Remove barriers and invest in workforce pipelines

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Develop a grant program exclusively for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISIs) to develop green workforce & training (environmental justice) development programming prioritizing career development opportunities in frontline communities.” (p.53)

  • DOE has increased investments in STEM research and workforce development at HBCUs with up to $59 million by 2025—a more than 18-fold increase compared to current funding levels, and partnerships of $43 million to support apprenticeships for HBCU students and development programs for HBCU faculty at six of DOE’s National Laboratories. (p.103)
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has deepened partnerships with MSIs, including HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and AAPISIs, through work including, but not limited to, the Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant program, which offers a priority for MSIs, and requires a focus on career pathway strategies in industry sector(s) that closely align with the workforce priorities of their state and/or region. (pp.146-147).

Enhance enforcement of environmental laws

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Develop guidance for the EPA to use targeted enforcement and resources priorities directed at legacy environmental justice “hot-spots” with the goal of reducing combined risks to human health or the environment from multiple agents or stressors.” (p.24)

  • Administrator Regan has directed EPA to “strengthen enforcement of violations of cornerstone environmental statutes . . .  in communities overburdened by pollution.” As a result, EPA has taken these steps:
  • Issued four memoranda setting forth strategies to enhance consideration of environmental justice issues in enforcement, pursue actions to bring facilities back into compliance to prevent future violations, remediate past harm to communities, and provide tangible benefits for the communities. (p.47)
  • Set a Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 goal of conducting 45% of all on-site inspections at facilities located in or affecting vulnerable or overburdened communities, which will progressively increase to 55% in FY 2026. (p.24) 
  • Increased oversight of cleanup agreements at toxic waste sites. (p.25)
  • Used American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to enhance its monitoring of hazardous air pollutants and drinking water contaminants, which will strengthen enforcement actions taken to address violations. (p.24)

Strengthen civil rights compliance

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Conduct civil rights compliance reviews under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of states with delegated environmental authorities. These reviews should prioritize states where there are decades of civil rights complaints by Black and other communities of color against permitted pollution in their communities, such as Louisiana’s Cancer Alley and the Houston Ship Channel.” (p.54)

  • Administrator Regan has also directed EPA to “strengthen enforcement of violations of cornerstone . . . civil rights laws in communities overburdened by pollution.” As a result, EPA is developing a systematic approach for ensuring compliance with Title VI, which among other things, includes conducting post-award affirmative compliance reviews. It is also committed to developing civil rights guidance, training, and technical assistance, and enhancing engagement with communities on EPA’s civil rights work, among other goals. (pp.54-55)

Fund environmental monitoring within communities

WHEJAC Recommendation: “Fund environmental monitoring located inside communities exposed to pollution, along with funds for compliance enforcement.” (p.24)

  • Of the $100 million that Congress provided to EPA under the ARP to address health outcome disparities from pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic, $50 million has been dedicated to environmental justice initiatives that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms in underserved communities. The other $50 million is being used to enhance air quality monitoring under the Clean Air Act. (p.24) 
  • For example, EPA has made available $20 million in ARP funding through competitive grants to enhance ambient air quality monitoring in and near underserved communities across the United States. In drafting this announcement, EPA conducted numerous engagement sessions with interested stakeholders, and held grants training sessions to enable more community organizations, Tribes, and others to apply for the funding. (p.24)

Relocate residents who live near toxic sites

WHEJAC Recommendation: “HUD should establish a voluntary community relocation program that provides replacement housing cost to residents whose homes were built with HUD funds on toxic sites, such as former waste dumps.(p.132)

WHEJAC Recommendation: “The relocation of residents whose homes were built on contaminated land or toxic sites with HUD funds, such as the Urban Development Action Grant (1977-1988).” (p.133)

  • HUD and EPA are working together to help ensure that residents of HUD‐assisted public and multifamily housing located on or near Superfund sites are protected from unsafe levels of contamination exposure and informed about potential exposures. (p.133)
  • The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request for HUD includes $10 million to fund a pilot program, RECLAIM, which focuses on distressed neighborhoods that contain public and/or HUD‐assisted housing and are in proximity to hazardous waste sites designated by the EPA as Superfund sites. RECLAIM grants would enable designated communities that have been impacted through the years by the presence of major contamination to prepare comprehensive Transformation Plans and utilize funds for catalytic investments to attract private and other public investment into these long‐neglected communities. RECLAIM would focus on housing, people, and neighborhoods, including developing and implementing strategic economic development initiatives in the community, creating affordable housing, and assessing the needs of and providing social services for housing residents. (p.133)

For additional actions that Federal agencies have taken in response to WHEJAC recommendations, please see the full report.


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