Wichita State chosen for $10 million EPA Environmental Justice Center

Wichita State University
Wichita State University(fair use)
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 4:02 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita State University’s Environmental Finance Center (EFC) is among 17 locations selected to establish an Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC). This center will promote environmental and energy justice in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska as well as Kansas and adjoining Indigenous nations.

Each center will receive at least $10 million over the next five years from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy to remove barriers and improve accessibility for communities with environmental justice concerns. The centers will also provide training and other assistance to help navigate federal grant application systems, write strong grant proposals, and manage grant funding. The center will also manage communication channels for all communities involved, equating resources among them.

As the only environmental justice center in EPA Region 7, Wichita State’s EFC will engage and assess the community’s needs and work with them to provide training, technical assistance, support services, applied research, tool development, and other resources to address their unique needs.

The EJ TCTAC will partner with eight non-profit organizations throughout the four-state region to provide training and technical assistance.

“This grant from the EPA is a phenomenal opportunity for Wichita State to drive prosperity for rural and underserved communities, who unfortunately carry a disproportional share of pollution and environmental hazards,” said Wichita State President Rick Muma. “We look forward to the opportunity to advance environmental justice in our region and promote healthy growth for Kansas and our Midwestern neighbors.”

Wichita State University operates its EFC out of its School of Public Affairs, whose purpose is to utilize and manage applied research and learning for the benefit of communities.