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White House Justice40 Interim Guidance Includes DWSRF Program Pilot

On July 20, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy released the “Interim Implementation Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative.” This guidance provides initial recommendations for 21 federal “pilot” programs, including two for drinking water under EPA – the DWSRF and “Reducing Lead in Drinking Water.” The Justice40 Initiative has a goal of directing 40 percent of the “overall benefits” of federal funding for these programs to disadvantaged communities as required by Executive Order 14008. EPA and the other agencies will be considering metrics to develop “interim” definitions for determining whether a specific community is disadvantaged, as well as methodologies to calculate the benefits from each covered program, in consultation with stakeholders. ASDWA will engage with EPA in the coming months to provide input on the development of this effort.

Further guidance to agencies on how to define disadvantaged communities for the purposes of the Justice40 Initiative will be released later this year, along with a geospatial Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool with interactive maps and indicators to assist agencies in defining and identifying disadvantaged communities. For more information, read the White House briefing room blog and the Interim Guidance.