On June 11, 2021, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative A. Donald McEachin (D-VA) announced the reintroduction of the Environmental Justice Pollution Cleanup Act of 2021 – a bill first introduced in 2020, which would provide for significant investment in environmental justice communities to address the health and environmental effects of pollution. This marks the latest of a series of proposed legislation addressing environmental justice. In March 2021, we reported on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which allocated $100 million in funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for programs, including the retrofitting or replacement of diesel engines or equipment, cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields sites, and technical assistance for small community water systems.
If signed into law, the Environmental Justice Pollution Cleanup Act of 2021 would allocate more than $200 billion to address pollution in environmental justice communities, including the identification and cleanup of certain sites, such as Superfund sites, coal mines, brownfields and former defense sites, the development of safe drinking water and wastewater systems, replacement of diesel school buses with zero-emission buses, and urban tree-planting initiatives.