Today, FEMA released an initial list of programs covered under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, overburdened and underserved. There are four covered programs within FEMA, each of which advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to environmental justice.
President Biden is committed to securing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment in housing, transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure, and health care.
Under Administrator Deanne Criswell’s leadership, FEMA has been integral to fulfilling the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing environmental justice and delivering on the President’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, including the critical Justice40 Initiative.
“The Justice40 Initiative strengthens FEMA’s commitment to ensure quick and equitable distribution of funds and benefits to the communities who need it most,” said Administrator Criswell. “We know that socially vulnerable communities bear the brunt of climate change and are more likely to be impacted by the associated extreme weather events. Thanks to President Biden and the Justice40 Initiative, FEMA will be able to better serve these communities by making them more resilient when disaster strikes.”
“Disasters don’t discriminate, yet their impacts are always felt the hardest by vulnerable and underserved communities. With the growing threat of climate change increasing the devastation caused by hurricanes and other disasters, we have to act in order to protect communities throughout our nation,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks. “By implementing President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative across critical resilience programs, we will build on the work FEMA is doing to ensure more equitable outcomes when it comes to community preparedness and resilience.”
In total, hundreds of federal programs, including programs that were funded or created in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are being reimagined and transformed to maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities through the Justice40 Initiative.
Programs in FEMA covered by the Justice40 Initiative include the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities and Flood Mitigation Assistance competitive annual grant programs, which both provide Hazard Mitigation Assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments to make communities more resilient from natural hazards. Also included are FEMA Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning and the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program, which help to ensure that communities are prepared for disasters.
Through the Flood Mitigation Assistance program, the Justice40 Initiative also covers the Swift Current Initiative, which is the first FEMA initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen national preparedness and resilience. The Swift Current Initiative aims to better align the delivery of flood mitigation funding to provide improved support to disaster survivors by expediting Flood Mitigation Assistance awards following a disaster, rather than through an annual grant application cycle.
The initial list of announced federal covered programs can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/environmentaljustice/justice40/.