Federal Funding Opportunities and Guidance + Staff & National Policy Updates – March 4, 2024

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Below you will find resources and information on:

USDA’s Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant Program

EPA’s Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants (Change Grants)

EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants (CPRG)

Virtual Office Hours and Webinars

An Update on Our Work (via our bimonthly newsletter EPN in Action)

USDA’s Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant Program

1) Funding for Planning and Implementation Projects in Areas Facing Food Insecurity

The FY2024 Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) grant program funds planning and implementation projects, with priority for areas facing food and nutrition insecurity. Grants range from $75,000 to $350,000 as of 2024. Eligible entities include non-profits, local government, tribal organizations, and schools K-12. Applications are due Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Additional information about this opportunity can be found below:

EPA’s Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants (Change Grants)

2) 6-Step Application Guides for Community Change Grants

EPN has added a Track II sample proposal narrative to our 6-step application guides for the Change Grants. You will also find a sample proposal narrative for Track I and additional templates/samples for Track I attachments. Although the final deadline for the Change Grants is November 21, 2024, there will be initial award announcements as soon as March 2024. As such, EPN suggests that applicants (who are ready) submit by February 20 or ASAP. Please reach out to info@environmentalprotectionnetwork.org if you would like additional help.

3) Community Change Grants Target Investment Areas (TIAs) Webinars

EPA is hosting a number of 60-90 minute webinars for Target Investment Areas—Tribes in Alaska, Tribes in the Continental US, Territories, Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities, and US-Southern Border Communities—and will cover application requirements, eligible entities, eligible project activities, and other helpful information on the specific TIAs. Please register below.

Tribes in Alaska: When: Feb 29, 2024 – 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM AKST; 03:30 PM ET Register here.

Tribes in the Continental US: When: Mar 6, 2024 – 12:00 PM PST; 1:00 PM MST; 2:00 PM CST;  3:00 PM ET Register here.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: When: Mar 18, 2024 – 3:00 PM ET; 3:00 PM AST Register here.

American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands: When: March 18, 2024 – 2:00 PM SST; 7:00 PM ET; March 19, 2024 – 11 AM ChST Register here.

Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (in-person and virtual): When: March 27 & 28, 2024 (Lower Rio Grande Valley, TX) and May 8 & 9, 2024 (El Centro/Imperial Valley, CA) Learn more here.

US-Southern Border Communities: When: Mar 25, 2024 – 12:00 PM PST; 1:00 PM MST; 2:00 PM CST; 3:00 PM ET Register here.

4) Community Change Grants Updated Information

EPA has updated and modified two important documents for the Change Grants, including a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document. EPA has asked applicants to please review these new FAQs as you prepare your applications and before sending questions to the CCGP@epa.gov mailbox. In addition, EPA issued a modification to the NOFO (available thru Grants.gov and the Community Change Grants website on February 12, 2024, to clarify certain areas. 

5) Community Change Technical Assistance Program (CCTA) and Community Change Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance (CCER TA)

As a reminder, EPA is offering two pro bono technical assistance programs. Sign up for this assistance ASAP!
– Community Change Technical Assistance (CCTA) includes application support, project planning and development, outreach and engagement, and general capacity building. You can also register for webinars, held weekly on Tuesdays, 3-4 pm ET, through at least March 2024, that review NOFO content and requirements, explain available technical assistance, and answer questions about the grant application process.

Community Change Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance (CCER TA) provides free design and project development assistance, community engagement, and partnership development workshops that support climate resilience and environmental justice activities for up to 50 projects in disaster-prone areas.

6) Funding to Help Communities Apply for Federal Funding

The Just Transition Fund is a national philanthropic organization that provides grants (up to $100k) and technical assistance to help communities impacted by the decline of the coal industry apply for federal funding, like EPA’s Community Change Grants program. Nonprofit organizations and local governments located in a community with a coal plant and/or mine are eligible to apply if they’re applying for federal funding for an economic development, workforce, or broadband infrastructure project. Their flexible funding is available on a rolling basis and can support staff capacity, hiring a grant writer, providing a required match, and/or other costs associated with submitting an application. Fill out their inquiry form here as the first step in their streamlined, rapid-response application process.

EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants (CPRG) 

7) Step-by-Step Guides to the CPRG Implementation Application Process

EPN has created application guides for the General Competition (due April 1, 2024) and the Tribal/Territories Only Competition (due May 1, 2024) and for Applicants Interested in Applying to both the General Competition and the Tribal and Territories Only Competition. Please reach out to info@environmentalprotectionnetwork.org if you would like additional help.

8) CPRG Implementation Grants Webinar on FAQs

On February 15th, EPA hosted a webinar on the “CPRG Implementation Grants Competitions: More Frequently Asked Questions” to provide additional insights into eligibility and other application requirements prior to the upcoming grant application deadlines. EPA reviewed “frequently asked questions” related to grants eligibility, award limits, and coalition requirements, among other topics. EPA has posted the slides and a recording of the webinar.

9) Updated CPRG Implementation Grants Questions and Answers (Q&As)

General Competition questions and answers were updated on February 16, 2024, and Tribes and Territories Competition questions and answers were updated February 6, 2024. Additional questions on the implementation grants competitions can be sent to CPRG@epa.gov by March 15, 2024, for the General Competition and April 15, 2024, for the Tribes and Territories Competition.

Virtual Office Hours and Webinars

10) EPN SAM.gov Registration Office Hours 

Please join us every other Wednesday (the next one is March 13th) at 2p.m. ET. EPN staff will help you begin, continue, or finish up your registration process. As a reminder, federal funding applicants must have an active SAM.gov and Grants.gov registration in order to apply, and subawardees must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on SAM.gov. The UEI is used to validate and verify U.S. contractors. To sign up and get the Zoom link, go to tinyurl.com/EPNSAM. Please email davina.resto@environmentalprotectionnetwork.org with any questions.

11) IRS Office Hours – Elective Pay/Direct Pay

The IRS will be holding additional and very helpful/hands-on office hours to help entities with the pre-filing registration process on the new IRA/CHIPS Pre-filing Registration Tool. Pre-filing registration is a required step for applicable entities and eligible taxpayers to take advantage of elective payment/direct pay or transfer of credits available in the IRA and CHIPS Act. Representatives from the IRS will be available to answer pre-filing registration questions. Registration is required and can be completed by clicking on the links below.

Date Time Registration Link
March 6, 2024 1-2:30 PM EST Register Here
March 13, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here
March 20, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here
March 27, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here
April 3, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here
April 10, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here
April 17, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here
April 24, 2024 1-2:30 PM EDT Register Here

12) Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) Webinar

On Thursday, March 7, at 11 a.m. PST, CCLR is hosting a webinar Justfields: Elevate your Land Reuse Initiatives with New Environmental Justice Funding, where they will identify the intersections between brownfields funding and other environmental justice funding at EPA. Attendees will learn how to effectively leverage funding to support their communities’ revitalization initiatives and mitigate past environmental injustices. Speakers will include EPA staff from the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) and the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights (OEJECR). Register here to attend.

Update on Our Work

EPN’s Bimonthly Newsletter: EPN In Action: January-February 2024

Staff Updates: We are thrilled to introduce three new staff additions to our pro bono capacity-building technical assistance program! This month, we welcomed Génesis Sánchez, our new Senior Grants Specialist, who is currently focused on assisting communities access technical assistance and resources for EPA’s Community Change Grants program, and two new Community Outreach Associates: Katia Pilar Carranza (Region 9) and Lizbeth García Conde (Region 2). To date, we have connected more than 160 EPN volunteers to over 700 communities and NGOs, and have helped communities access over $7.5 million in federal funding. 

National Policy Updates:

  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s draft risk evaluation for tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP)
  • EPN also sent a letter to EPA about peer review practices as they relate to the Toxic Substances Control Act Asbestos Part 2 and the TCEP risk evaluations
  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper: Improvements.
  • EPN presented oral comments at a public hearing for EPA’s proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements.
  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s Draft Scientific Integrity Policy
  • EPN also submitted comments on EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP): Near-term Strategies for Implementation.