(WNY News Now) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer has revealed a significant federal investment of almost $983,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Government-to-Government program to support the City of Jamestown’s initiative aimed at enhancing energy-efficient housing in underserved neighborhoods.
Jamestown – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, in a recent announcement, disclosed that nearly $983,000 in federal funding from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Justice Government-to-Government program will be allocated to support the City of Jamestown’s endeavors to bolster energy-efficient housing in underserved communities. Schumer attributed the availability of this funding to the historic investments secured through the Inflation Reduction Act, a pivotal piece of legislation aimed at addressing environmental justice concerns.
The primary objective of this funding is to empower Jamestown in its mission to ensure that underserved communities gain access to energy-efficient, upgraded housing. By doing so, residents will witness a reduction in their energy costs, while the city contributes to the broader fight against climate change.
Senator Schumer expressed his enthusiasm for this development, stating, “More energy-efficient housing and lower utility costs will soon be heading to homes across Jamestown thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. When I led the Inflation Reduction Act to passage, promoting clean energy for communities in Jamestown and across Western NY were at the top of my mind. I am proud to help deliver this major federal investment to power Upstate NY’s clean energy future. Investments like these are a blueprint for how we can lower costs for families, all while fighting climate change and making our neighborhoods cleaner for all. Jamestown, you’ll be saying home sweet home soon, with more modern energy-efficient homes in neighborhoods that need it most.”
The significance of this funding was echoed by City of Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, who emphasized the substantial benefits this initiative would provide to the city’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents. He highlighted that the alternative energy upgrades offered through this program will serve as a valuable starting point in Jamestown’s ongoing efforts to achieve environmental justice. These upgraded, weatherized homes will be made available through a non-traditional home buyers’ program, which will not only lead to increased neighborhood renewal but also yield measurable results from both a public health and environmental perspective.
The allocation of funds will be directed towards Jamestown’s “Retooling Homes for Improved Air Quality” initiative. The City will work in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations to enhance the air quality of homes by reducing indoor toxins and pollutants, alleviating energy burdens, and mitigating energy loss in homes located in underserved neighborhoods. These partnerships will facilitate energy efficiency audits in these communities and enable the development of plans for energy-efficient upgrades to reduce costs for residents. Key project partners include Jamestown’s Department of Development, Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC), and Healthy at Home CHQ.
Schumer emphasized that when he championed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) through Congress, the largest climate investment in U.S. history, he ensured that a substantial portion of the funding was designated for environmental justice initiatives. This commitment aimed to uplift community-based organizations focused on public health and environmental impacts, promote environmental equity, and guarantee that communities across the country could reside in a cleaner and healthier environment. As part of the IRA, the EPA granted over $128 million for environmental justice projects in communities nationwide. Additionally, Schumer recently secured over $17 million in Department of Energy (DOE) funding through his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding will enable the Jamestown Board Of Public Utilities (JBPU) to establish a new microgrid system, enhancing Jamestown’s electric infrastructure to mitigate power outages and provide electricity for public services, schools, hospitals, and more during emergency situations such as snowstorms.
The Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) program, which facilitated this funding, offers support at the state, local, territorial, and tribal levels to promote government activities leading to measurable environmental or public health improvements in communities disproportionately affected by environmental harms.