Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
On March 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a two-stage grant program, Climate Pollution Reduction Grants, that will use nearly $5 billion in Inflation Reduction Act investments to deploy greenhouse gas reduction strategies.
The first tranche of funding is $250 million in noncompetitive planning grants to states, local governments, tribes and territories to develop innovative strategies to reduce climate pollution and build clean energy economies. The program provides flexible planning resources for grant recipients to develop and implement scalable solutions that protect people from pollution and advance environmental justice.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are eligible to receive $3 million each in planning grant funds. Each of the 67 most populous metropolitan areas in the country are eligible to receive $1 million, including two Massachusetts-based areas. The Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH MSA covers 188 municipalities, and the Worcester, MA-CT MSA covers 48.
States must submit a notice of intent to participate by March 31, and metropolitan areas must submit a notice of intent to participate by April 28.
Later this year, the EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in funding to implement projects and initiatives included in these plans. States, cities, territories and tribes can also use this funding to develop strategies for using the other grant, loan and tax provisions secured by legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to achieve their clean energy, climate and environmental justice goals.
The $250 million in climate planning grants builds on $550 million recently announced for the EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program and $100 million announced earlier this year for environmental justice grants to support underserved and overburdened communities. In addition, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country.
Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program
The planning grants under the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program will support states, territories, tribes, municipalities and air agencies in the creation of comprehensive, innovative strategies for reducing pollution and ensuring that investments maximize benefits, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities.
The climate plans will include:
• Greenhouse gas emissions inventories
• Emissions projections and reduction targets
• Economic, health and social benefits, including to low-income and disadvantaged communities
• Plans to leverage other sources of federal funding, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act
• Workforce needs to support decarbonization and a clean energy economy
• Future government staffing and budget needs
The EPA’s program guidance describes how the agency intends to award and manage CPRG funds to eligible entities.
Metropolitan areas will develop regional planning grants with key stakeholders in their area. Communities that do not rank in the top 67 most populous areas will have opportunities to partner with their states and neighboring jurisdictions.
States must submit a notice of intent to participate by March 31. The lead organization for the state will then need to submit an application, including a workplan and budget for the planning grant, by April 28. States can work with EPA regional offices during this time.
Metropolitan areas must submit a notice of intent to participate by April 28. The lead organization for the metropolitan area will then need to submit an application, including a workplan and budget for the planning grant, by May 31. Metropolitan areas can work with EPA regional offices during this time.
All eligible entities are advised to review the program guidance documents on the EPA website to learn more about the planning grants, including details about eligibility criteria and allocation formulas, important deadlines, and other requirements.
The planning grants will be followed by $4.6 billion in implementation grant funding that will support the expeditious implementation of investment-ready policies created by the CPRG planning grants, programs and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term. Through the CPRG program, the EPA will support the development and deployment of technologies and solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution, as well as transition America to a clean energy economy.
The EPA held webinars on March 2 and 7 to provide additional information on the program guidance for the noncompetitive planning grants. The webinar recording and materials are being posted to the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program webpage.