DENVER (KDVR) — Environmental justice is making news in Colorado again. This time, the state is being praised for progressive action on climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency just announced $3 million in grant funding coming to the state to help Colorado with air pollution efforts. Leaders and climate activists say it is beyond time for action on climate change. They are happy about the state focusing on the issue now.

Friday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was joined by the EPA and environmental advocates in celebrating the grant for planning strategies to reduce air pollution.

“We’ll be able to update the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, a number of supporting studies to make sure that the decisions and policies here in Colorado are science-based. The roadmap here in Colorado will now be able to include modeling of not only our current emissions trajectory but the impact of this enormous federal investment,” Polis said.

Polis plans to reduce pollution 30% in 2 years

Grant money from the Inflation Reduction Act totals $5 billion, going to states across the nation that want to participate. Colorado is being praised for being one of the first to opt in.

“This is Colorado putting its flag down to say it’s going to be one of the leading states to really participate in advanced technologies and economic development opportunities around climate pollution reduction,” said EPA Region 8 Administrator KC Becker.

With Polis just announcing his plan to reduce air pollution by 30% in two years and Vice President Kamala Harris emphasizing the need for climate action in Colorado just last week, groups that have been passionate about the environment for years say it’s refreshing to see more action on a subject that impacts everybody.

“The climate crisis is what’s going on and how it affects our health. For me, it affects me personally because I’m asthmatic, my kids are asthmatic, a lot of people in our organization are affected by this crisis through our health,” said Nicki Day, Black Parents United Foundation’s environmental justice coordinator.

Friday’s announcement was for the first round of grant funding. States will get more non-competitive grant dollars from the government once planning from the first round is finished.