Nov 29, 2023

The Community Investment & Recovery Center (CIRC) Will Help More Than 250 Regional Organizations Secure Vital Federal Funding for Environmental Justice Concerns

New Orleans, LA – The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) announces the launch of an online resource for its Community Investment & Recovery Center (CIRC), one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Justice Thriving Community Technical Assistance Centers (TCTAC). Over the next five years, DSCEJ will assist more than 250 community-based organizations in rural and underserved communities in applying for and accessing $50 to $100 million in grants to address their community’s environmental challenges.

Through the CIRC, DSCEJ will provide technical assistance and help build capacity for the community-based organizations to put them in the best possible position to secure federal funding through the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 initiative, a whole-of-government approach to ensuring 40% of climate investments flow to underserved communities that are overburdened by pollution.

The launch of the online resource is a part of the CIRC information and outreach hub to serve communities in EPA Regions 4 and 6, which span 13 states and 72 tribes. Community-based organizations interested in accessing technical assistance services provided by DSCEJ’s CIRC program can go online to complete the CIRC Capacity Assessment.

“The historic investments made by the Biden-Harris Administration in environmental justice are coming to bear. We are looking forward to serving communities to build their capacities and secure funds now available to them through the administrations’ Investing in America agenda to improve environmental conditions and reduce climate risks,”  said Dr. Beverly Wright, founder and executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. “We have spent decades building the relationships and capacity needed to have an impact on this scale. While our goal is ambitious, we know the most effective solutions are those closest to the community, and now is the time to act on them.”

In August, the EPA awarded DSCEJ a $13 million grant over five years to remove barriers and improve accessibility for communities with environmental justice concerns. DSCEJ is among 16 entities selected nationally through a partnership between the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy to house Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) and receive $177 million in grant funding.

The EJ TCTAC program is part of the Federal Interagency Thriving Communities Network. The new technical assistance centers will help ensure communities with environmental justice concerns can access President Biden’s historic investments in America to address generational disinvestment, legacy pollution, and infrastructure challenges and build a clean energy economy that will lower energy costs, strengthen our energy security, and meet our climate goals.