Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., has been selected to receive an $800,000 pollution prevention grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocates $16 million in grants to 24 recipients nationwide. The grant aims to reduce water pollution from industrial facilities and address environmental justice issues in historically underserved communities, such as East Baton Rouge and New Orleans East.

Waste360 Staff, Staff

October 23, 2023

3 Min Read
port of baton rouge FDS.jpg
Port of Greater Baton Rouge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as a recipient of an $800,000 pollution prevention grant.

The funds are part of a larger initiative under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocates $16 million in grants across 24 institutions nationwide. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a pivotal component of the Biden-Harris Administration's "Investing in America" plan fo public infrastructure and green energy investments.

Southern University's grant will be dedicated to a project aimed at reducing water pollution stemming from industrial facilities in the region. The project addresses environmental justice concerns in historically overburdened and underinvested communities such as East Baton Rouge and New Orleans East.

“EPA values the partnership of Southern University in working to bring the benefits of pollution reduction to all communities, especially those like East Baton Rouge and New Orleans East that are historically overburdened and underinvested,” commented Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance, in a statement. “The Southern University team designed a project that will leverage EPA programs like Safer Choice and help mitigate the air and water pollution that these communities experience.”

Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Chancellor-Dean of the Southern University Ag Center and the College of Ag, expressed excitement at being the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to receive the EPA's Pollution Prevention grant in the Environmental Justice in Communities category. 

“This grant will assist the Ag Center in ensuring that underinvested communities have access to clean water and air through educating manufacturers on solutions to reduce hazardous substances that are released in the waters of East Baton Rouge and New Orleans East," he said, in a statement.

Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02) further commented on the new funding, stating, "This is great news for Louisianians who have endured environmental injustice for far too long. All Americans – no matter where they live – deserve to breathe clean air, drink safe water, and live in a healthy environment. That's why I worked so hard to craft the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and am proud to see underserved communities access this critical funding and technical assistance to improve public health at the local level. As the Member for Region 7 of the Regional Leadership Council, I will continue to work closely with the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure these transformative environmental protection policies and programs reach every American in every community in our region."

The project spearheaded by Southern University in partnership with Louisiana State University and local community leaders, aims to conduct water quality assessments, reduce contaminated discharges to local aquifers and offer outreach to affected areas. As part of President Biden's Justice40 Initiative, these grants intend to benefit marginalized communities with a focus on pollution prevention and environmental justice.

This grant program seeks to increase the availability and use of safer, more sustainable products, ultimately improving the health and environment of disadvantaged communities. The grants are anticipated to be awarded once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied, with award amounts ranging from $100,000 to $800,000 for state- and city-level projects and up to $1.2 million for multi-state projects.

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