TL;DR The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced $100 million in environmental justice funding opportunities through two grant programs — their largest-ever investment in environmental justice funding! Air quality monitoring projects are expected to be one of the largest categories of awards — in this blog we will break down what grant funding programs are available, and how to apply.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced $100 million in environmental justice funding opportunities through two grant programs — their largest-ever investment in environmental justice funding! If you would like to apply with Clarity, get in touch — the deadline to apply is April 14, 2023.
This grant funding comes just a year after the EPA launched the Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities Program, which awarded $20 million in grants to improve ambient air quality monitoring across the United States with a focus on communities that already suffer a disproportionate burden of health and environmental impacts from air pollution.
As air pollution measurement projects funded by both EAQMC and these new funding programs are rolled out, they should look to draw on lessons learned from California’s AB 617 program — the first of such grant funding programs focused on community air quality monitoring. See our blog on best practices when deploying low-cost air sensors in the urban environment for more tips on planning and implementing air quality measurement networks.
Eligible organizations working to address local environmental or public health issues in their communities can apply for EPA funding through the Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) and Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement (EJCPS) Programs.
The EJG2G grant program anticipates awarding approximately $70,000,000 of funding through 70 cooperative agreements nationwide, organized in four funding tracks.
The EJCPS Program anticipates awarding approximately $30,000,000 of funding through 83 cooperative agreements, organized in two funding tracks. These tracks include funding for CBOs proposing projects for up to $500,000 each and for qualifying CBOs with 5 or fewer full-time employees presenting projects for up to $150,000 each.
This blog provides an overview of these two programs, instructions on how to apply, and how Clarity can support you in your application.
Overview of EJG2G Program
The Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) program offers funding for governmental entities at the state, local, territorial, and tribal levels to support and create model government initiatives that lead to measurable environmental or public health results in communities exposed to environmental issues.
This program, previously known as the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program (SEJCA), has been renamed to reflect a broader number of eligible entities for funding.
To apply for the EJG2G program, eligible entities must consist of a partnership between a state, tribe, or local government and a community-based nonprofit organization (CBO). US Territories, Freely Associated States, and tribal governments in remote areas are also eligible for funding. Non-eligible organizations are encouraged to partner with other eligible entities on an EJG2G project.
The projects should make use of the existing resources or assets of applicants to create essential tools and procedures that incorporate environmental justice considerations into all activities. Applications must contain relevant details such as demographics, geographic location, and community background. The EPA's EJSCREEN tool is recommended to assess and describe the project and the community in your proposal.
All projects will last 3 years with a planned start date of October 1, 2023, and a plan to distribute the funds over the total duration of the program.
What are the EJG2G program’s goals?
The EJG2G program looks to fund environmental justice projects that will:
- Achieve measurable and meaningful environmental and/or public health results in communities
- Build broad and robust, results-oriented partnerships, particularly with CBOs within disproportionately impacted areas
- Pilot activities in specific communities that create transferable models, which can be expanded or replicated in other geographic areas
- Strengthen the development and implementation of meaningful approaches to achieve environmental justice
The US EPA will give Special Consideration and priority to projects addressing climate change, disaster resiliency and/or emergency preparedness, rural areas, and health impact assessments.
For the EJG2G program, the EPA will grant about $70 million of funding across approximately 70 projects with the following breakdown:
- $40,000,000 from Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for local governments partnering with community-based organizations and tribal governments partnering with CBOs
- $30,000,000 of annual appropriations for OEJCR for States partnering with CBOs and U.S. Territories, Freely Associated States, Puerto Rico, state recognized tribes, and tribes in remote areas (federally recognized or state recognized)
Merit Evaluation Criteria for EJG2G
Applications meeting the eligibility criteria will be evaluated by a review panel of EPA staff and experts using a 100-point scale. The weight of each criterion varies. To maximize their score, applicants must address all evaluation criteria in their work plan and application materials. See how the Merit Evaluation Criteria are for the EJG2G program below:
Available resources for the EJG2G program
You can access the full Request for Application document along with additional resources here:
- Read the full EJG2G Request for Applications (RFA) document
- Recording of the EJG2G January 26, 2023 webinar — passcode: 42015614
- Slides from the January 26, 2023 EJG2G webinar
Overview of EJCPS Program
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program is a valuable resource for organizations solving local environmental or public health issues in their communities. The program provides grant money to eligible organizations and helps them build collaborative partnerships to create lasting solutions in their community such as environmental or public health issues.
Eligible entities for the EJCPS program include community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) or partnerships with community-based nonprofit organizations.
What are the EJCPS program's goals?
The EJCPS Program requires selected projects to use the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model to address these issues collaboratively with local communities, industry, academic institutions, and others. This model encourages the participation of affected communities and stakeholders in the decision-making process and helps identify and prioritize the most pressing environmental or public health issues in a community.
Merit Evaluation Criteria for EJCPS
Applications meeting the eligibility criteria will be evaluated by a review panel of EPA staff and experts using a 100-point scale. The weight of each criterion varies. To maximize their score, applicants must address all evaluation criteria in their work plan and application materials. See additional details for the EJCPS program below:
Available resources for the EJCPS program
You can access the full Request for Application document along with additional resources here:
- Read the full EJCPS Request for Applications (RFA) document
- Recording of the January 24, 2023 EJCPS webinar — passcode: 85564988
- Slides from the January 24, 20223 EJCPS webinar
Examples of air monitoring projects using grant fundings similar to the EJG2G & EJCPS programs
Clarity can assist you with a range of project categories in accordance with section 138(b)(2) of the Clean Air Act, including community-driven monitoring and measurement of air pollution to help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.
An example of an EJG2G project that the EPA could provide funding for is the monitoring, prevention, or remediation of air quality problems near transportation networks such as railroads, railyards, ports, and busy roadways, particularly in areas where data is scarce. Clarity can support you in setting up a network of cost-effective air monitoring sensors in your community, providing real-time air quality readings.
Here are a few examples of past grant-funded community air quality monitoring success stories:
- Brightline Defense brings air quality monitoring to San Francisco communities during record-breaking wildfire season
- Monterey Bay Air Resources District brings real-time, local air quality data to 20+ municipalities in California
- Richmond forges a citizen air monitoring network with 10-meter resolution air quality data for 110K residents
How to apply for EJG2G and EJCPS environmental justice funding?
For both EJG2G and EJCPS programs, the application deadline is April 14, 2023
- Applicants must register through SAM.gov and Grants.gov before being able to submit an application
- First-time applicants will need to create an account using login.gov to complete SAM.gov registration and obtain a Unique Entity ID
- Make sure to start ahead of time since finalizing registration can take more than a month and applications are complex and require significant lead time
Applications must show successful eligibility criteria and partnerships with entities and other stakeholders to develop solutions that significantly address disproportionate environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change.
Applying for environmental justice air quality monitoring funding with Clarity
We can help you evaluate these opportunities and win funding for your environmental justice projects. Clarity has an excellent track record with government funding for air quality monitoring. Our partners are awarded more than a dozen grants through the EPA’s Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities program and numerous other grants through programs like the California Air Resources Board’s AB 617.
If you would like to apply with Clarity, get in touch — the deadline to apply is April 14, 2023.