ASDWA Provides Additional Input to EPA on Justice40

The Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative has been in place for a little over a year, and EPA has several ongoing environmental justice initiatives as part of that Initiative. ASDWA recently provided input (below) to EPA on the implementation of Justice40. Given the goal of 40% of Federal funding going to disadvantaged communities and the increased Federal funding for water infrastructure in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the definition of a disadvantaged community, and how that defintion is applied, are both critical implementation issues.

ASDWA has recommended that a single definition of “disadvantaged” will not work for a range of reasons such as differences in state laws. EPA could offer a menu of approaches for states to consider, or choose from, in potentially updating or revised their current definition. Additionally, the diligent work that has already been done by state agencies to provide 33.2% (based on the number of funding agreements, from page 21 of EPA’s 2020 DWSRF National Summary) of SRF funds to those communities that states have defined as “disadvantaged.”

The next few years will provide many opportunities and challenges for appropriately spending the increased Federal funding for water infrastructure. It’s going to be a signficant collaborate effort.

ASDWA J40 Input 02152022 Final