OVER 130 ORGANIZATIONS UNITE TO CALL FOR GREATER EPA FUNDING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN 2025 GOVERNMENT BUDGET

WASHINGTON –  As we begin Earth Month, over 130 organizations join together to write to Congressional appropriators to advocate for high topline funding levels for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in particular their environmental justice investments, in fiscal year 2025 Appropriations. After cuts to environmental funding in the 2024 appropriations bills, this call from dozens of organizations emphasizes the need to invest in climate mitigation, public health, and the environment.

Astrid DuBois, Government Affairs Manager, WE ACT for Environmental Justice responds:

“WE ACT for Environmental Justice is honored to be joined by over one hundred thirty organizations in a united call for increased funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in fiscal year 2025 appropriations, especially to advance environmental justice. These diverse organizations represent frontline advocates and leaders of the environmental justice and broader environmental movement. To kick off Earth Month, we hope this letter sends a strong message and motivates Congressional offices to join this critical call. In the letter, we call for funding that meets or exceeds the $10.994 billion, especially the $1.5 billion to support environmental justice efforts, requested for the EPA in President Biden’s FY2025 budget. In addition, we ask that the FY2025 bill restores the word ‘implementation’ to the Environmental Justice appropriation language. These investments will allow the EPA to better achieve its mission to protect human health and the environment, as well as to advance justice and fight the climate crisis. All Americans, but particularly vulnerable and overburdened frontline and fenceline communities, deserve a life of clean air, water, and land – we know this budget is a starting point to see that future come to fruition ”     

FULL LETTER BELOW

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The Honorable Jeff Merkley
Chair
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment,
and Related Agencies, Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment,
and Related Agencies, Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Mike Simpson
Chair
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment,
and Related Agencies, Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Chellie Pingree
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment,
and Related Agencies, Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives

 

Fiscal Year 2025 (FY2025) Funding Request for the Environmental Protection Agency and Environmental Justice Initiatives

Dear Chair Merkley, Ranking Member Murkowski, Chair Simpson, Ranking Member Pingree,

We are leaders within and allies of the environmental justice movement and write to underscore the importance of fully funding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as you begin developing the FY2025 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. We urge you and your colleagues to continue the ambitious work of protecting communities and the environment by appropriating funding that meets or exceeds the $10.994 billion, especially the $1.5 billion to support environmental justice efforts, requested for the EPA in President Biden’s FY2025 budget. In addition, we ask that the FY2025 bill restores the word ‘implementation’ to the Environmental Justice appropriation language. 

Americans living frontline and fenceline to industry and polluters rely on the EPA to ensure their health and quality of life aren’t compromised by pollution and to remediate in instances where public health harms and environmental degradation occurs. We count on the EPA to develop and enforce critical regulations such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Toxic Substances Control Act. Also, at this moment, the EPA is serving as an important instrument for ensuring that resources from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA) and other once-in-a generation legislation reach communities, cities and states across the U.S. as we rebuild, restore and revitalize the nation. Our communities hope to see a continuation of a range of programs and research coming out of the EPA that can result in clean up of legacy pollution, advance justice and equity, and achieve economic empowerment in low-wealth communities, communities of color, and Tribal communities across the nation. 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes historic investments in climate and environmental justice such as $3 Billion for Environmental and Climate Justice Grants, $27 Billion for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund, and $1 billion of investment in replacing fossil-powered heavy-duty vehicles with clean, zero-emission vehicles, among many others. The EPA has swiftly developed these programs and these investments are beginning to reach communities. At this junction, it’s critical to increase the topline funding of the EPA in service to preserving and enhancing the staff, systems, and other critical resources required to continue the efficient and equitable implementation of these spending bills.  

Additionally, funding the EPA at or above the level requested by President Biden is urgent and needed to remedy the significant funding cuts the EPA currently faces in the FY2024 appropriations allocations. The nearly $1 billion cut in funding to the EPA will certainly impact critical activities and programs that protect public health and the environment. For example, the Superfund program faces the largest cut despite the outsized impact that it had in communities last year. The agency spent $1.1 billion to clean up 84 Superfund sites – toxic waste sites which are excessively and extremely polluted – protecting the 900,000 people living nearby. Remediating Superfund sites is a priority for many environmental justice and Tribal communities that confront the public health crisis driven by legacy pollution. We request additional appropriations in FY2025 to supplement the income generated from the Superfund taxes instituted by the IRA and IIJA. In addition, instead of cuts, we want to see increases in appropriations for environmental justice enforcement, which face a nearly $8 million cut in FY2024. Congressional extremists targeting the EPA’s budget to score political points are playing politics with peoples’ lives. 

Finally, we were pleased that the Committees did not preserve the harmful riders from the House Interior and Environment FY2024 bill. We urge you to continue rejecting all harmful riders that may be proposed during the FY2025 appropriations process. 

Decades of research has revealed that low-income communities, communities of color, and Tribal communities are more likely to be exposed to pollution and other environmental hazards. It is well documented that environmental justice communities face the worst and increasing cases of asthma and early death as well as extreme heat and natural disasters from the climate crisis. This reality underscores the urgency of advancing environmental justice in this country, which requires significant federal resources to combat the challenge. President Biden has rightfully placed environmental justice at the forefront of his administration’s agenda. We applaud this focus, and advocate for appropriations increases to make this a reality.  

Thank you for your consideration and efforts to secure a better future for our communities.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Environmental Justice Organizations: 

Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice 

Pamela Miller, Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Aaron Mair, EJ Coordinator, Arbor Hill Development Corporation

Peggy Berry, Executive Director, Between the Waters

Jane Williams, Executive Director, California Communities Against Toxics

Atenas Mena, Executive Director, CleanAirNow

Moshe Kornfeld, Executive Director, Colorado Jewish Climate Action 

Hilton Kelley, Founder/Director, Community In-power & Development Association Inc

Monique Harden, Director of Law/Public Policy, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice 

Bobby Jones, President, Down East Coal Ash Environmental and Social Justice Coalition 

Mary Gutierrez, Director, Earth Action, Inc.

Chris Kocher, Co-executive Director, Extreme Weather Survivors

Miaisha Mitchell, Executive Director, Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council/Tallahassee Food Network

Donele Wilkins, CEO, Green Door Initiative

Lee Anne Williams, Co-Chair, Green New Deal Virginia

Irene Burga, Climate Justice & Clean Air Director, GreenLatinos

Heather McMann, CEO, Groundwork USA

Dawud Shabaka, Co-Executive Director, Harambee House, Inc./Citizens for Environmental Justice

April Peebler, Executive Director & Program Director, Heirs To Our Ocean

Dr. Charlotte L. Keys, Founder, Jesus People Against Pollution

Richard Moore and Dr. Sofia Martinez, Co-Coordinators, Los Jardines Institute

 Katharine Burgess, Vice President, Land Use & Development, National Brownfields Coalition – Environmental Justice and Public Health Committee  

Jodi Lasseter and Connie Leeper, Co-Executive Directors, NC Climate Justice Collective

Jim Warren, Executive Directors, NC WARN

Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy

Melissa Miles, Executive Director, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance

Diana Bohn, Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Center for Community Action

Jerry Rivers, Environmental Scientist , North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)

Matt Malina, Director & Founder, NYC H2O

Cheryl Johnson, Executive Director, People for Community Recovery

Matt Nelson, Executive Director, Presente.org

Russell Chisholm, Co-director, Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR)

Marquita Bradshaw, Founder and Executive Director, Sowing Justice 

Timothy Edward Duda, Founder, Former Director, Terra Advocati

Juan Parras, Executive Director, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services

Chris Murawski, Executive Director, The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York

Rev. Brendolyn J Boseman, Executive Director, The Imani Group, Inc

Amanda Bonam, Interim Network Manager, The National Black Environmental Justice Network 

Kristin Kusanovich, Founder/Director, tUrn Climate Crisis Awareness & Action

Paddy McClelland, Cofounder, Wall of Women

Ayo Wilson, Director of Clean Energy & Climate Justice, West End Revitalization Association 

350 Seattle

350 West Sound Climate Action

Bergen County Green Party

Center for Earth Energy & Democracy 

CT Coalition for Economic and Environmental Justice 

GreenFaith

Mothers Out Front

South Bronx Unite

The People’s Justice Council

Tishman Environment & Design Center at The New School

Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community

 

Tribal/Indigenous Organizations: 

Dr. Crystal Cavalier, CEO/Executive Director, 7 Directions of Service

Asa Wright, Executive Director, Indigenous Peoples Power Project

 

Allied Organizations and Groups: 

Drew Hudson, Founder, 198 methods

Nora Privitera, Federal Team Chair, 350 Bay Area Action

Alan Weiner, Chapter Lead, 350 Conejo / San Fernando Valley

Stephanie Robinson, Co-Executive Director, 350 Wisconsin

Sarah Stewart, President, Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.

Camden Weber, Climate and Energy Policy Specialist, Center for Biological Diversity

Tama Becker-Varano, Lead Organizer, Change Begins With ME (Indivisible)

Sean Jackson, National Water Campaigns Coordinator, Clean Water Action

Janet Cox, CEO, Climate Action California

Rose Garr, Senior Government Affairs Director, Climate Action Campaign

Ted Conwell, Executive Director, Climate First!, Inc.

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Raul Garcia, Vice President of Policy and Legislation, Earthjustice

Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker, Director, EcoMadres

Tara Thornton, Deputy Director, Endangered Species Coalition

Ann Mesnikoff, Federal Legislative Director, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Michelle Roos, Executive Director, Environmental Protection Network

Dani Hupper, Campaigns Director, Evergreen Action 

Belinda Williams-Collins, Co-Chair, Florida Brownfield Association – Environmental Justice 

& Public Health Committee

Shannon Smith, Executive Director, FracTracker Alliance

Edward Maibach, Professor and Director, George Mason University Center for Climate 

Change Communication 

Anna Linakis, Executive Director, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

Elaine Chiosso, Executive Director, Haw River Assembly

David Phillips, Executive Director, International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island 

Institute

Wendy Seligson, Co-Director, Jewish Climate Action Network NYC

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters

Kermit Moore, President, Memphis APRI 

Cheryl Nenn, Riverkeeper, Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Almeta Cooper, National Manager, Health Equity, Moms Clean Air Force

Erik D. Olson, Senior Strategic Director for Health, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters

David Kraft, Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)

Tim Judson, Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Sally Jane Gellert, Member, Committee of Correspondence, Occupy Bergen County

Pamela Richard, Office Admin, Peace Action WI

Marj Plumb, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine

Tonyehn Verkitus, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

Lynn Ringenberg, MD, Co-Founder & Board Officer, Physicians for Social Responsibility/Florida

Dianna Cohen, Co-Founder & CEO, Plastic Pollution Coalition 

Chance Cutrano, Director of Programs, Resource Renewal Institute

Sally Roberts, Chair, Rise Up WV

Jeremy Cherson, Senior Manager of Government Affairs, Riverkeeper

Robert M. Gould, MD; President, San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility

Jack Eidt, Co-Founder, SoCal 350 Climate Action

Marj Plumb, Executive Director, Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility

Hannah Story Brown, Senior Researcher, The Revolving Door Project

Joanie Steinhaus, Ocean Program Director, Turtle Island Restoration Network

Jean Ross, Board Chair, Vote Climate

James Moschella, Climate and Health Program Manager, Washington Physicians for Social 

Responsibility

Cortney Koenig Worrall, President and CEO, Waterfront Alliance

Jacqueline Esposito, Advocacy Director, Waterkeeper Alliance

Dorian Fulvio, Steering Committee Member, 350NYC

Sherry Pollack, Co-founder, 350Hawaii

Nicole Cantello, President, AFGE Local 704

Pablo DeJesús, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

Maura Stephens, Cofounder, Coalition to Protect New York

Patricia J. Popple, Project Outreach, Frac Sand Sentinel

David E Gibson, Staff Coordinator, Peace, Justice, Sustainability, NOW!

Roberta Stern, Therapists for Peace & Justice

Kimi Wei, CEO, The Wei LLC

Jane Lapiner, Artistic Director, HUMAN NATURE

AFGE Local 3428

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Children’s Environmental Health Network

Environmental Defense Fund

Health Care Without Harm

Interfaith Power & Light 

Medical Students for a Sustainable Future

National Wildlife Federation

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Putnam Progressives

Sierra Club

Smart Growth America

SWIM Coalition

The Nature Conservancy

The Wilderness Society

Union of Concerned Scientists

Voices for Progress

 

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