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Upcoming Opportunity for Input on Design of Environmental and Climate Justice Grant Program

July 31, 2023
2 minute read

Upcoming Opportunity for Input on Design of Environmental and Climate Justice Grant Program

July 31, 2023
2 minute read

Authored By

Mark Bender

Mark C. Bender

Special Counsel

John Clancy

John L. Clancy

Shareholder

The Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grant Program (ECJ Program), created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), will provide grants and technical assistance for environmental and climate justice activities that benefit disadvantaged communities, including clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation projects. The IRA set aside $2.8 billion for financial assistance, and $200 million for technical assistance, to implement this new program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As part of the process to define and develop the ECJ program, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) at the EPA is currently seeking comments related to the development and design of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). A webinar specifically aimed at Federally recognized tribal governments, Alaskan native villages, tribal community representatives, and tribal and/or indigenous community-based nonprofit organizations is scheduled for August 3, 2023, from 12:30 - 2:30 (CST). Interested parties can register here.

Activities designated for funding under the ECJ include:

  • Community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, and investments in low-and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure and workforce development that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants (greenhouse gas is defined as “air pollutants carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride");
  • Mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events;
  • Climate resiliency and adaptation;
  • Reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution; and
  • Facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in State and Federal advisory groups, workshops, rulemakings, and other public processes.

Eligible entities include community-based nonprofit organizations, a partnership between a community-based nonprofit organization and an Indian tribe, local government, or an institution of higher education, or a partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations.

Godfrey & Kahn has assisted tribes and tribal entities with the preparation of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy-efficient housing and related grant applications, and other incentive programs that have resulted in total funding of tens of millions of dollars. We have also assisted tribes in packaging federal grants with other grants and tax incentives, including the federal tax credit for renewable energy projects, state and/or utility grants, New Market Tax Credits, and other private funding to drive down the cost of energy-related projects, often resulting in the construction of projects with no upfront capital costs. Now, with the Inflation Reduction Act providing numerous expanded funding opportunities available to tribes and tribal entities, we can work with you to help fully fund numerous clean energy projects.

For more information about these significant grant opportunities and strategies to use them to meet your Tribe’s energy goals, please contact a member of our Tribal Governments practice.

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