"The Biden administration is beginning to work out the thorniest questions of its environmental justice agenda.
In a draft guidance document obtained exclusively by E&E News, the White House details how federal agencies should begin the process of ensuring that at least 40% of the benefits from federal energy and environmental spending reach disadvantaged communities.
Known as the Justice40 Initiative, the framework has already emerged as a source of some friction among the Democratic political coalition. Who counts as disadvantaged, what a benefit means and how to count them will remain ongoing questions. In a nod to those tensions, the administration is emphasizing that the public will still have ample chance to shape the answers.
The administration named 21 federal programs that will pilot the Justice40 implementation, including flood mitigation grants, the drinking water state revolving fund, grants to remove lead from homes and rural energy financing.
Agencies will have 60 days to submit plans for those initial programs to the Office of Management and Budget. For the rest of their programs, they’ll have 150 days."