Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) announced that the City of Tampa would be receiving a $1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Urban and Community Forestry initiative.”
This initiative will permit Tampa to plant and maintain trees, as well as “combat extreme heat, and improve access to natural areas,” according to Rep. Castor’s press release.
“Tampa Bay residents are living through the hottest year on record. We need more trees and shade to protect us from extreme heat,” said Rep. Castor. “This investment in our neighborhoods is made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act and will help the City of Tampa plant trees, improve air quality, help keep our streets cooler and make our communities healthier.”
Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor (D-FL) called this high-dollar grant a “huge win.”
“This is a huge win for Tampa residents and our cherished tree canopy. We worked hard for this grant and are enormously grateful to the Biden-Harris administration because it will go a long way to help us meet our goal of adding 30,000 trees to Tampa by 2030. Great cities have great tree canopies,” said Mayor Jane Castor.
In August, the Florida congresswoman sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to address air conditioning concerns in United States Postal Service (USPS) trucks in the Tampa area, as temperatures during the summer months were scorching in the Sunshine State.
Castor called for “modern electric vehicles” to replace the current fleet to “ensure the health and safety of Letter Carriers as climate pollution exacerbates extreme, record-breaking heatwaves.”
With the Inflation Reduction Act footing the bill for new USPS fleets around the country, Rep. Castor is looking to make Tampa a priority with the “climate crisis” in mind.
“The devastating health and economic consequences of the climate crisis continue to grow, and the Tampa Bay region is particularly at risk for extreme heat and worsening air quality on hot, humid days. We need to take swift action and use every tool at our disposal to strengthen communities’ — and workers’ — resilience against such extreme heat and weather events,” wrote Rep. Castor.
She would go on to reference the recent collective bargaining deal that the United Parcel Service (UPS) obtained and stated that all delivery service employees should receive those terms.
“You may be aware of the recent Teamsters-UPS North American contract negotiations where the Teamsters collectively bargained for fair wages, safe working conditions, affordable health care and increased retirement benefits. The tentative agreement would mandate equipping the company’s fleet of vehicles with air conditioning, new heat shields, and additional fans. These terms should be extended to all delivery service employees,” penned Castor.
The Inflation Reduction Act was signed a year ago.