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$4.6 Billion Available for Local Governments and Tribes Under Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program

December 19, 2023
3 minute read

$4.6 Billion Available for Local Governments and Tribes Under Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program

December 19, 2023
3 minute read

Authored By

Mark Bender

Mark C. Bender

Special Counsel

John Clancy

John L. Clancy

Shareholder

Earlier this fall, the EPA announced two competitions as part of the $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program, which aims to provide grants to states, local governments, tribes, and territories to develop and implement greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction plans and projects. In addition to $250 million in planning grants awarded to states and certain large metro areas earlier this year in Phase I, $4.6 billion is available for competitive implementation grants under Phase II (Phase II grants). The Phase II grants are split into two competitions: (1) a general competition for states, municipalities, air pollution control agencies, tribes, territories, and departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the same; and (2) a separate competition for tribes, tribal consortia, and territories only.

Phase II grants will provide funds to implement measures included in GHG reduction plans developed by certain planning organizations with Phase I funding, called Priority Climate Action Plans (PCAP). Eligible applicants may only apply for funding to implement measures identified in an applicable PCAP. Interested entities are encouraged to engage with relevant planning organizations as soon as possible to verify what measures will be covered and eligible under a relevant PCAP. A list of organizations that received planning grants can be viewed here, and available contact information can be viewed here.

Examples of measures eligible for funding may include programs or projects that increase use of electric vehicles (EVs), expand EV charging infrastructure, install renewable energy and energy storage systems, and many other projects and programs that will significantly reduce cumulative GHG emissions by 2030 and beyond. Each PCAP will vary as to what measures are included. (See also energy incentive opportunities for local governments and for businesses under the Inflation Reduction Act).

All PCAPs are due on March 1, and applications for Phase II grants are due April 1, 2024. An optional Notice of Intent to Apply is due February 1, 2024. The EPA has strongly encouraged planning organizations to make draft versions of their PCAPs available as early as possible so that entities considering a Phase II grant application can begin developing their applications before the April 1 deadline. The EPA has indicated that coalitions may be in the best position to receive grants under the CPRG program. Accordingly, interested entities should reach out to potential partners as soon as possible in order to develop strategic applications.

As part of the Justice40 Initiative, the EPA will prioritize CPRG funding towards measures that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities. For the CPRG program, the EPA defines a low-income and disadvantaged community as any community that meets at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Any census tract that is included as disadvantaged in the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST);
  • Any census block group that is at or above the 90th percentile for any of EJScreen’s Supplemental Indexes when compared to the nation or relevant state; or,
  • Any geographic area within Tribal lands as included in EJScreen.

The EPA plans to award between 30 and 115 general competition awards nationwide, organized into various tiers ranging between $2 million to $500 million per grant. The EPA anticipates awarding 25 to 100 tribes and territories competition grants ranging from $1 million to $25 million per grant. No cost share or matching funds are required to be eligible for either competition.

For more information on CPRG or other grant opportunities available to fund clean energy or GHG reduction projects, and to learn how Godfrey & Kahn can help, contact Mark Bender or John Clancy.

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