***Source-https://www.americancityandcounty.com/, Andy Castillo, First Published 21, September, 2023
To combat rising climate pollution levels, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday $4.6 billion in competitive grants available to cities, counties, territories and Tribal governments. The grants, which are a part of the EPA’s $5 billion Climate Pollution Grants program, are funded through the Inflation Reduction Act. They’re intended to spark community-driven environmental solutions, and to accelerate the nation’s transition to clean energy.
“The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program is the largest program of its kind to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to develop and implement a wide variety of greenhouse gas reduction measures,” said Lisa Garcia, regional administrator for the EPA in a statement. “From devastating hurricanes to widespread flooding across our area, our region is experiencing firsthand the urgent need to make progress on climate action. These grants give our partners the opportunity to invest in a cleaner economy that can spur innovation and economic growth while building more equitable, resilient communities.”
The funding is available through two grant competitions: one general competition and another specifically for Tribes and territories. Eligible applicants will compete to fund measures included in their climate action plans. The $4.6 billion opportunity is the second phase of the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program. The EPA previously made available $250 million for communities to develop climate action plans.
Entries that achieve the greatest amount of greenhouse gas emissions reductions will be prioritized. Equity and climate justice will also be taken into account, among other criteria.
The “program recognizes that to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice, communities need to be in the driver’s seat steering toward their own clean energy future,” said John Podesta, senior advisor to the president for clean energy innovation and implementation in the statement.
The statement notes the EPA expects to award between 30 to 115 applications grants between $2 million and $500 million under the general competition. Another 25 to 100 communities are expected to receive grants between $1 million and $25 million under the Tribes and territories competition.
The deadline to apply to the general competition is April 1, and May 1 for the Tribes and territories competition. Implementation grants are expected to be awarded in the fall of 2024 for the general competition and in the winter of 2024-2025 for the Tribes and territories competition.