SDSU wins $10 million EPA grant to create energy and environmental justice center

Project leader Rebecca Lewison and her colleagues led a climate adaptation project that has been hailed as a model for the American Southwest. Photo via @SDSU Twitter

San Diego State University will lead one of 17 centers across the country designed to connect underserved communities with resources for environmental and energy justice, thanks to a $10 million federal grant.

He Environmental protection agency announced the selection Thursday in association with the US Department of Energy.

“We are grateful for the incredible trust and support of the EPA and the Department of Energy, which will allow us to build on SDSU’s longstanding commitment to climate action and environmental justice,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. , it’s a statement. “As the only California university selected to lead this work, this is a clear recognition of our faculty’s ability and passion for fostering mutually beneficial relationships with tribal and other key communities.”

“And this empowering approach is exactly what sets SDSU apart as a leading research university – our focus is not just on the idea, but on creating a sustainable and positive impact,” he said.

The SDSU Center for Community Energy and Environmental Justice will provide “critical services to rural, remote, tribal and indigenous communities to access federal resources for energy and environmental justice projects,” according to a university statement. It will be based in the SDSU Mission Valley Innovation District, currently under construction.

“We are excited to spearhead capacity-building efforts to address the needs of communities that have historically been excluded from political decisions and actions that affect their homes and surrounding environments,” said the SDSU biology professor and project leader. , rebecca lewison.

Lewison and the team plan, over the next five years, to create multilingual in-person and virtual services to help communities that are often most affected by environmental challenges such as drought, flooding and pollution apply for government funding.

The impact of the center is intended to reach beyond San Diego, with services in other parts of California, as well as Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa by using existing SDSU climate-focused initiatives such as the Community Climate Action Network and the Center for Regional Sustainability. . Community organizations like the Climate Science Alliance are also expected to help expand the center’s reach.

The City News Service contributed to this article.

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