EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program: Preliminary Information and Timeline for States
EPA has released some new details and an application and implementation timeline for their $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program, which was created under section 60114 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). While the program is designed to be inclusive of municipalities and tribes, the majority of funding for planning grants will be allocated to state governments. This is an excellent opportunity for states to get federal money to begin or bolster their pollution reduction planning processes. Here, we’ve included a few key details from EPA’s recent webinar that we think states and state energy agencies may find helpful. EPA will release full program guidance and details on or before March 1, 2023. You can view the slides from their February 15th webinar here.
CPRG is a $5 billion multi-year program created by the IRA and administered by EPA. Of the $5 billion in total funding, $250 million is reserved for non-competitive planning grants, $4.6 billion is reserved for competitive implementation grants, and the remaining $150 million will cover administrative costs, including technical assistance. The primary goals of CPRG are to:
- Encourage states, air agencies, municipalities, and Tribes to collaboratively create comprehensive plans to reduce air pollution, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities;
- Give state, municipal, and Tribal partners flexible resources to plan for and deploy resources from recent federal legislation, including the IRA, IIJA, American Rescue Plan, and CHIPS Act to help reduce emissions, and
- Help states, municipalities, and Tribes create transformative and scalable decarbonization efforts.
- On or before March 1st – EPA to release program guidance
- March 31st – Deadline for states, municipalities, and air pollution control agencies to submit notice of intent to participate to EPA
- April 28th – Deadline to submit planning grant applications and workplans
- Summer 2023 – Planning grant funding to be awarded by EPA
- Q1 of 2024 – Applications due for implementation grants
Key Takeaways for States
- CPRG planning grants are non-competitive formula grants. Of the total $250 million set aside for planning grants, $156 million is reserved for states (including DC and PR) with $3 million for each state. The rest of the funding is reserved for municipalities and Tribes. In order to apply for funding, states must opt-in to the program through a notice of intent to participate by March 31, 2023. Full formula allocations will be available with full program guidance on or before March 1st.
- Planning grants are designed to be flexible. States with robust clean energy and climate plans can use funds to bolster or expand their current plans. States without such plans can use funds to begin the pollution reduction planning process.
- Planning and implementation grants could be used for a wide range of purposes, including hiring and/or retaining staff, conducting robust stakeholder engagement, and assessing capacity and capability.
- For states that do not choose to apply for a CPRG planning grant, additional funds will be allocated to air pollution control agencies, municipalities, and/or Tribes within those states.
- Implementation grants will be competitive, and they must be used to implement existing CPRG planning grants. States, municipalities, and Tribes that did not opt into CPRG planning grant funding can still qualify for implementation grants as long as they are covered by or partner in another state’s CPRG planning grant. EPA hopes that grant recipients will design broad plans that cover a variety of programs and projects implemented by several different entities.
Actions for States to Take Between Now and March 1st
- Sign up for EPA’s CPRG email updates.
- Sign up for one of EPA’s next CPRG webinars on March 2nd and March 8th.
- Make sure that your accounts are up to date on SAM.gov and grants.gov.
- Begin reaching out to your state pollution control agency, other state agencies, and municipalities to begin conversations about how planning grants can integrate multiple bodies and stakeholders.
- Begin work to identify which state agency will take the lead on applying for CPRG planning grant funding.