The Environmental Protection Agency is spending $1.2 million on "environmental justice."
The agency will award 10 grants to nonprofit organizations and religious groups, according to a grant announcement released earlier this month.
"EPA defines ‘environmental justice' as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies," the announcement states. "Fair treatment means that no one group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal environmental programs and policies."
Grant opportunities are available to "environmental justice networks," "faith based organizations and those affiliated with religious institutions," and other nonprofit groups.
The EPA said it would give special consideration to grant proposals from rural areas.
Groups will have until February to apply. "The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $1,200,000," the EPA said, with plans to award 10 projects in different regions worth $120,000 each.
Under the Obama administration, the EPA spent $90,000 per year on an "Environmental Justice Academy."
The academy and the latest round of EPA environmental justice grants follow the EPA's "Collaborative Problem-Solving Model," a seven-step flow chart that urges communities to work together to "bring about positive change" for sustainability.
Steps in the "Collaborative Problem-Solving Model" include "community capacity-building," "consensus building," and "sound management."
Taxpayer-funded projects will go to underserved communities, which the EPA defines as a "community with environmental justice concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including minority, low income, rural, tribal, and indigenous populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks and has a local environmental and/or public health issue that is identified in the applicant's proposal."