On September 27, 2022, EPA released a memo entitled Near-term Actions to Support Environmental Justice in the Nonpoint Source Program. In the memo, EPA committed to taking action to ensure equitable and fair access to the benefits of cleaner water provided by the Section 319 program. Specifically, the memo strongly encourages action in FY22 by stating that the Nonpoint Source Program will begin incorporating approaches to enhance environmental equity in their 319 funding programs. Additionally, the memo commits the EPA’s national NPS program to several actions in FY22 to support this goal, including seeking input and sharing progress via quarterly engagements with State, Tribal, and Territorial grantees. Recognizing that this will be a shared learning experience, EPA is committed to an ongoing dialogue with the NPS community as this work goes forward.
This listening session will provide an overview of the NPS program and the Justice40 initiative, updates on EPA’s efforts to incorporate the Justice40 initiative into its NPS program, and a facilitated discussion with subgrantees. This discussion aims to understand the challenges facing environmental justice communities, Tribes, and Indigenous communities, how these challenges impact NPS programs working within these communities, and how EPA can help address these challenges through action in the CWA Section 319 programs.