State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program (Sejca)

The EPO is seeking candidates for a total of $1.2 million for environmental justice cooperation agreements due to be awarded in 2016. Cooperation agreements are awarded to local community-based organizations that wish to address environmental and health issues in their communities by cooperating with other stakeholders such as public and local governments, industry, science and non-governmental organizations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works to improve the environment and public health in low-income and minority communities. The EPO continues to make effective responses to COVID-19 issues a top priority. As part of these efforts, this Communication announces the EPO`s reopening of the Justice for the Environment Cooperation Agreement (SEJCA) programme and the availability of funds for US states, territories, tribal and local governments to propose projects focused on COVID-19 and other areas described in Section I. The SEJCA program makes funds available to eligible organizations to cooperate with underserved municipalities, to understand, promote and integrate approaches to make significant and measurable improvements in public health and/or the environment in these communities. For the purposes of this announcement, the term “underserved community” means a community with environmental concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including minorities, low-income, rural, tribal, indigenous and homeless populations. Originally, $1 million was allocated to environmental justice projects. Due to Administrator Wheeler`s desire to expand the programme to help municipalities tackle the health effects aggravated by COVID, the EPO has selected five additional grants to bring the total premiums to $2 million. These models should use or use existing resources or assets of public authorities to develop important tools and processes that integrate environmental justice thinking into national governments and government programs. The EPO strives to improve the environment and public health conditions of low-income and minority communities through our daily efforts to ensure that all Americans have clean air, clean water and access to information in order to make decisions to protect personal and public health. As part of these efforts, the EPO has reopened the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program (SEJCA) and extended its availability to states, local governments, tribes and territories.