FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2023
Contact: Heather Hansen, Humanity Communications Collective, Heather@humanitycom.com, 410-991-4444
WASHINGTON – In response to the U.S. Department of Transportation announcement Tuesday about the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, which makes $2.5 billion in grants available for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Anastasia Gordon, Energy and Transportation Policy Manager for WE ACT for Environmental Justice, issued the following statement:
“It is clear that the Biden-Harris administration is committed to environmental justice, addressing key issues facing the communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and air pollution. This significant funding opportunity – which is available to projects that advance environmental justice, particularly in low-income and rural communities that are disproportionately burdened by climate change and other environmental issues – will reduce climate emissions and air pollutants from the transportation sector and accelerate the transition to a cleaner economy and the broader adoption of zero-emission, electric vehicles.
“Transportation is the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The medium- and heavy-duty sector, in particular, is a significant source of criteria air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and fine particulates, which disproportionately affects communities of color across the country, causing a range of health impacts such as asthma, heart attacks, and premature deaths. Eliminating tailpipe emissions from vehicles is essential to improving air quality and the health of communities overburdened by transportation pollution.
“In the New York City Metropolitan area, for instance, people of color are exposed to higher levels of PM 2.5 pollution from cars, trucks and buses than other population segments. Areas of the South Bronx and Northern Manhattan, one of the highest death and disease rates from asthma in the country. Childhood asthma in these communities is responsible for many emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.
“We encourage eligible applicants and the Department of Transportation to engage with communities and put forward and approve transformative projects that prioritize the deployment of publicly available, affordable, and convenient electric vehicle charging infrastructure, along truck corridors, at depots and ports, and in or near environmental justice neighborhoods adversely affected by diesel pollution.”
WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.