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Initiative Overview

What Is Justice40 and How Can It Help Your Community?

The Justice40 Initiative represents a comprehensive government approach to ensure collaboration between federal agencies, states, and communities in fulfilling President Biden's commitment to allocate a minimum of "40% of the overall benefits" from pertinent federal investments to marginalized communities. Investment areas are:
1. Climate change
2. Clean energy and energy efficiency
3. Clean transportation
4. Affordable and sustainable housing
5. Training and workforce development related to the six other Justice40 investment areas
6. Remediation and reduction of legacy pollution
7. Critical clean water and wastewater infrastructure

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (IIJA) and Justice40

In November 2021, the bipartisan infrastructure law, approved by Congress and enacted by President Biden, allocated over $1 trillion for upgrading the nation's infrastructure. There are estimates that show approximately $400 billion of the funding from this bipartisan law aligns with the Justice40 Initiative.

Despite containing controversial provisions aiming to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act and supporting fossil fuel infrastructure, the law will also disburse billions of dollars through federal programs falling within the seven investment areas outlined by the Justice40 Initiative.

If federal agencies, along with state and local governments, direct these investments toward well-conceived projects developed in consultation with communities, there is potential to enhance access to clean energy and transportation, construct affordable and sustainable housing, mitigate pollution in disadvantaged areas, and deliver various other community benefits.

The Inflation Reduction Act and Justice40

The Inflation Reduction Act, enacted into law in August 2022, represents an unparalleled commitment, channeling $369 billion into clean energy and pollution reduction initiatives over the next ten years. Within this sum, over $50 billion is specifically earmarked for disadvantaged communities, aiming to promote both environmental justice and climate justice. Further aligning with the Justice40 objective set by the Biden-Harris administration, federal agencies are mandated to implement the complete $369 billion package of the Inflation Reduction Act in a manner that ensures a minimum of 40 percent of the total investments and benefits reach these underserved communities.


In pursuit of advancing the Justice40 objective, several federal agencies are allocating resources that communities can access. These resources encompass Technical Assistance Centers (TCTACs), regranting or subawards facilitated by pass-through entities, and direct technical assistance provided by newly established offices within these agencies. Details on these resources are outlined below:

The Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers Program (EJ TCTACs)

EPA has selected 16 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy that will receive $177 million to help underserved and overburdened communities across the country. Each of the technical assistance centers will receive at least $10 million. With this critical investment, these centers will provide training and other assistance to build capacity for navigating federal grant application systems, writing strong grant proposals, and effectively managing grant funding. In addition, these centers will provide guidance on community engagement, meeting facilitation, and translation and interpretation services.
The two selected TCTACs for EPA Region 6, which encompasses the State of Texas are The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and New Mexico State University.
New Mexico State University - South Central Environmental and Energy Justice Resource Center (SCEERJ)
Link to TCTAC site: https://scejrc.nmsu.edu/

Email for Technical Assistance: scejrc@nmsu.edu
Deep South Center for Evironmental Justice - This Technical Assistance Center has not officially launched. More information to come.

Subaward/Regrant Opportunities

In an effort to reduce barriers to the federal grants application process communities face and increase the efficiency of the awards process for environmental justice grants, various federal agencies have opened regrant/subaward programs. Grantmakers will design competitive application and submission processes, award environmental justice subgrants, implement a tracking and reporting system, provide resources and support to communities.
As these awards are made and more information is available, links to these opportunities will be published HERE.

Direct Technical Assistance

EPA’s free water technical assistance (WaterTA) supports communities to identify water challenges, develop plans, build technical, financial, and managerial capacity, and develop application materials to access water infrastructure funding. EPA collaborates with states, Tribes, territories, community partners, and other key stakeholders to implement WaterTA efforts. The end result: more communities with applications for federal funding, quality water infrastructure, and reliable water services.

Past Symposiums and Upcoming J40 Events

August 3, 2023 - Laredo, TX
Welcome and Opening Speeches; RGISC, GreenLatinos, and Congressman Henry Cuellar
“Justice40 Initiative” Presentation by Ardie Griffin, Emerald Cities
Clean Energy: Industry and Workforce Development Session : “Advanced Energy in Texas: Present State and Future Opportunities” Presentation by Micalah Spenrath, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance
Clean Energy: Industry and Workforce Development Session: Clean Energy Fund of Texas Presentation by Stephen Brown
Panel Discussion – Application Experiences and Upcoming Opportunities Moderator: Sheila Serna, RGISC Panelists: Martin Castro, RGISC Arnoldo Lozano, City of Laredo Virginia Palacios, Commission Shift
Closing Panel and Remarks Moderator: Alexandra Castaneda, RGISC Panelists: Virginia Palacios, Commission Shift Dr. Cecilio Ortiz-Garcia, UTRGV Andrew Robison, Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute

Upcoming Events

• February 7, 2024 – Rio Grande Valley (TBA)
• Early 2024 – Corpus Christi and Eagle Pass (TBA)
• Spring 2024 – Laredo (TBA)

Justice40 Timeline

January 2021
President Biden signs an executive order introducing the Justice40 Initiative.
The CEQ (Council on Environmental Quality) creates the WHEJAC (White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council) in accordance with President Biden’s directive.
The WHEJAC submits recommendations on Justice40, the CEJST, and executive order 12898 revisions to the chair of the CEQ.
The White House has issued interim implementation guidance for Justice40, instructing federal agencies to evaluate both existing and new programs to ensure a minimum of 40 percent of their total benefits reaches disadvantaged communities. The guidance outlines a pilot program involving 21 federal initiatives, subjecting them to thorough examination and adjustments to optimize benefits for these communities. The intention is for these programs to subsequently share successful strategies, fostering efficient Justice40 implementation throughout the entire federal government.
Federal agencies submit methodologies to the CEQ and the Office of Management and Budget for calculating and tracking Justice40 benefits for the hundreds of programs that fall under the Justice40 Initiative. The CEQ has not yet published agency methodologies for calculating and tracking Justice40 benefits.
The CEQ publishes the beta version of the CEJST and invites comments on the tool from communities, climate and environmental justice experts, and the public. The CEQ also holds training and listening sessions on the tool.
The White House launches the Justice 40 Week of Action, which highlights hundreds of federal programs representing billions of dollars in annual investment that fall under the Justice 40 initiative—including programs that were funded or created in the bipartisan infrastructure law.
The White House publishes an updated list of federal programs covered by the Justice 40 Initiative.
The CEQ issues a request for information to solicit feedback on the vision, framework, and outcomes of an Environmental Justice Scorecard.
The CEQ launches the CEJST 1.0. Based on public input, the CEJST 1.0 includes new data sets, indicators, methods, and improvements to the site experience.
Estimated Winter
The CEQ releases the Environmental Justice Scorecard to ensure agency accountability on Justice40 implementation.

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