In an event today in San Jose with US Rep. Zoe Lofgren and local officials, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff sponsored a $776,636 grant to the California Department of Public Health that will provide technical assistance at California’s general aviation airports in disadvantaged communities to support the transition from lead aviation gasoline (avgas) to unleaded avgas.
“This grant will reduce exposure to harmful pollution in poor communities across California, helping to protect residents who disproportionately face long-term health threats,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA is proud to support projects that improve public health, prevent pollution at the source, and advance environmental justice.”
“Growing up in an underserved community, I know firsthand how harmful pollutants affect the health of our neighborhoods,” said US Senator Alex Padilla. “Santa Clara County is leading the nation in transitioning to unleaded AVgas, and I’m proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides funding to build on that work and help other California communities protect public health. In general, our poorest communities also face the burden of pollution from leaded aviation fuels, and this grant will help chart a conscious path to a cleaner future.
“Investing in the transition to unleaded fuel is a smart and necessary step, and I commend the EPA for focusing its resources on this environmental justice issue. Recently, through a finalized endangerment finding, the EPA confirmed what families living in East San Jose unfortunately know all too well: lead avgas is a dangerous pollutant. Leaders at all levels of government must act quickly to free communities from the pollution of lead in the air,” said US Rep. Zoe Lofgren.
Technical assistance to be provided to the California Department of Public Health through the grant includes voluntary business roundtable discussions, training, and the development of educational materials and case studies. The proposed project aims to improve human and environmental health in poor communities identified through the state’s CalEnviroScreen by reducing lead emissions that could harm them.
This grant is one of two California pollution control grants the EPA will fund this year—the other goes to the University of California at Los Angeles—and was made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The EPA’s Pollution Prevention Grant Program builds on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the total benefits of certain federal investments to underserved and marginalized communities. pollution.
Ensuring greater availability and use of safer and more sustainable products will reduce harmful chemical exposures in poor communities and create a more sustainable and accessible market. These efforts will continue to benefit businesses and communities across the country by capturing what works and what can be adapted for other communities. Recipients will share successful practices that are new or not widely known, as well as lessons learned so that future businesses and communities can continue to innovate.
Between 2011 and 2021, the EPA’s Pollution Prevention Program issued nearly 500 grants worth more than $50 million, which helped businesses identify, develop, and adopt pollution prevention practices. pollution. These practices resulted in the elimination of 19.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, the saving of 49 billion gallons of water, the reduction of 917 million pounds of hazardous materials and pollutants, and the saving of more than $2.2 billion for business.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law boosts these efforts by providing a historic $100 million to support continued program efforts. Thanks to the unprecedented federal investment, state and tribal programs awarded grants are not required to provide matching funds, which has helped expand access to these resources and the pool of applicants.