A whole-of-government effort to deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities is a top priority for EM in fiscal year 2023.

A requirement of President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” the Justice40 Initiative builds on EM’s existing cleanup work. EM has been incorporating environmental justice efforts into its mission since the cleanup program’s inception in 1989.

EM has been interacting with stakeholders on Justice40 through presentations, conference calls, in-person and virtual meetings, panel sessions and workshops.

In July last year, the EM-Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) was selected as one of five DOE Justice40 Initiative Pilot Programs and has completed the required deliverables under the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Justice40 Interim Guidance. EM-LA is conducting multiple stakeholder engagement meetings and “listening sessions” related to Justice40.

The focus of EM’s environmental cleanup work under Justice40 is soil and groundwater remediation.

Eight EM sites and two programs focused on community engagement grants and cooperative agreements fall under the EM Justice40 Initiative Covered Programs. A covered program is a federal government program that makes investment benefits in one or more of seven areas, according to Justice40 interim guidance. EM’s covered program is remediation and reduction of legacy pollution. The eight EM sites are the Hanford Site in Washington state, Idaho National Laboratory Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Utah, Nevada National Security Site, Savannah River Site in South Carolina and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

OMB will issue further guidance to agencies on next steps for the Justice40 Initiative. A climate and economic justice screening tool and environmental justice scorecard will also be released.