On March 11, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which allocates more than $1.9 trillion to aid COVID-19 relief. Title VI of the law specifically provides $100 million to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address health disparities resulting from pollution and COVID-19. The funding includes $50 million “for grants, contracts, and other agency activities that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in minority populations or low-income populations” under various EPA programs, including the retrofit or replacement of diesel engines or equipment, the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields sites, and technical assistance for small community water systems. The remaining $50 million will fund grants and activities authorized under §103(a)-(c) and §105 of the Clean Air Act related to air quality monitoring and the prevention and control of air pollution.
For more information on Sidley’s environmental justice team, please visit https://www.sidley.com/en/services/environmental/environmental-justice.