EPA awards $1 million for San Juan climate change mitigation
By The Star Staff
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $1 million from the agency’s Climate Change Reduction Grants (CPRG) program to the Municipality of San Juan to develop climate action plans with innovative strategies to reduce climate change and build the clean energy economy in the San Juan metropolitan area.
The funding is in addition to the $3 million that the Puerto Rico government will receive for climate action planning through the CPRG program.
The funds going to San Juan and Puerto Rico are part of the first phase of funding for the EPA’s $5 billion CPRG program, which was created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in climate action in history. The EPA recently launched the second phase of the program, specifically $4.6 billion in competitive grants to implement state, local, tribal and territorial programs and policies that reduce climate pollution, advance environmental justice, and deploy clean energy solutions across the country.
“With programs like the Climate Change Reduction Grants, EPA is advancing climate planning and advancing environmental justice for communities overburdened and vulnerable to climate change in partnership with Puerto Rico,” EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. García said. “We are pleased to provide the Municipality of San Juan and our partners in Puerto Rico who are experiencing the greatest impacts of climate change with this unique funding opportunity through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expand resources, create jobs, and build clean energy infrastructure.”
“We will work, with transparency and accountability, on initiatives and projects to transition to a clean energy economy in our San Juan communities and combat the climate crisis,” San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero said while expressing thanks to the president and the EPA for the award.
“Securing this grant and spearheading it for the Metropolitan Statistical Area marks a significant milestone,” added Tamara González, director of the Office of Planning and Territorial Ordering of the Municipality of San Juan. “This environmental planning tool will help us implement the strategies outlined by the Municipality of San Juan, with the aim of improving the quality of life of our citizens in the midst of the challenges of climate change.”
The San Juan Municipal Planning Office will be using EPA funds to lead planning efforts aimed at reducing climate pollution and developing a climate plan in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Planning Board, the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works, and municipalities and communities throughout the metropolitan area. Significant public participation in the plan will be sought, focusing on low-income and disadvantaged communities.