The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $250 million in grants are available to fund plans for projects combating “climate pollution” on Wednesday, pushing the total number of climate grants announced this year to nearly $1 billion.
The funds include $3 million for every state, $1 million for each of the 67 most populated metropolitan areas and a total of $25 million to be distributed among Native American tribes, according to the EPA press release. The grants are among the first in President Joe Biden’s new $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program, which was created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
In total, the IRA allocated nearly $370 billion to fighting climate change. The act also includes, among other things, $80 million in additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service, $2o billion in incentives for farmers to not grow crops and $2.2 billion in reparations for black farmers.
“We know that tackling the climate crisis demands a sense of urgency to protect people and the planet,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in a statement. “President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is a historic opportunity to provide communities across the country with the resources they need to protect people from harmful climate pollution and improve our economy. These Climate Pollution Reduction Grants are an important first step to equip communities with the resources to create innovative strategies that reduce climate emissions and drive benefits across the country.”
The EPA also intends to launch a $4.6 billion competition later this year to implement projects developed through these planning grants, according to its news release.
Last week, the administration announced $550 million in grants to fund the EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) initiative. The program would give $50 million to 11 nonprofit organizations, or partnerships between nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, or Indian tribes, who would be responsible for creating a grant application process for organizations in “underserved communities” that “historically have faced barriers to receiving funding.”
The administration also announced $100 million in “environmental justice” grants in January, which can be used by organizations for projects that “address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities.”
The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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