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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $16 Million for Pollution Prevention in Environmental Justice Communities

Mar 10, 2023

EPA grants made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support businesses in developing and adopting pollution prevention practices that advance environmental justice and protect underserved communities

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $16 million for two new grant opportunities to support states and Tribes in providing technical assistance to businesses seeking to develop and adopt pollution prevention (P2) practices that advance environmental justice in underserved communities. EPA has published two Request for Applications for P2 investments, which were made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice in Communities, and the Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice Through Safer and More Sustainable Products programs.

“For too long, underserved communities have suffered the harmful effects of pollution across the country,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “President Biden’s investment in America is supercharging our efforts to protect more communities than ever before. These new grants will advance environmental justice by equipping American businesses with resources that save money, prevent pollution at the source, reduce the use of hazardous materials, and cut climate pollution.”

The United States produces billions of pounds of pollution each year and spends billions of dollars per year controlling this pollution. Preventing pollution at the source, also known as P2 or source reduction, rather than managing waste after it is produced, is an important part of advancing a sustainable economic and environmental infrastructure. P2 practices can reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce cleanup and financial costs for businesses, particularly for waste management and environmental liability. Practicing P2 is essential for protecting public health and improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities that have long been overburdened by pollution.

The two grant opportunities being announced today will provide up to $16 million for state and Tribal programs to help businesses adopt pollution prevention practices to advance environmental justice. These grants will be fully funded at the time the grants are awarded, as is required by traditional P2 grants. Individual grant awards may range from $100,000 to $800,000 for the funding period, or up to $1.2 million for multi-state or multi-Tribal projects.

  -  The Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice in Communities is a new P2 grant opportunity to support technical assistance for businesses to specifically target and improve human health and the environment in disadvantaged communities.  Applications for this grant are due by June 6, 2023. Additional information is available at grants.go under Funding Opportunity Announcement EPA-I-OCSPP-OPPT-FY2023-001.

  -  The Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice Through Safer and More Sustainable Products will support P2 technical assistance to businesses to increase the supply, demand and or use of safer and more sustainable products, such as those that are certified by EPA’s Safer Choice program, or those that conform to EPA’s Recommendations for Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing. Applications for this grant are due by June 20, 2023. Additional information is available at under Funding Opportunity Announcement EPA-I-OCSPP-OPPT-FY2023-002.

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These two-year grants are a critical component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy and other investments to disadvantaged communities. Selected grantees will not be required to provide matching funds for these grants.

Eligibility and Applications

For both grant funding opportunities, EPA requests that applicants target their projects to help communities overburdened by a legacy of pollution using geographic, demographic, environmental or other appropriate indicators. Disadvantaged communities can be identified through several publicly available mapping tools including:

  -  The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, a geospatial mapping tool developed by the Council on Environmental Quality;

  -  EPA’s EJScreen which combines environmental and socioeconomic indicators in maps and reports; and

  -  The P2 EJ Facility Mapping Tool which allows users to identify industrial businesses located in or adjacent to disadvantaged communities

Eligible applicants include states, state entities such as universities, U.S. territories and possessions, and federally recognized Tribes and intertribal consortia. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider partnering with other P2 stakeholders and with community organizations to strengthen their ability to jointly develop and provide P2 technical assistance to businesses and facilitate the development, adoption, and dissemination of P2 solutions. Local governments, community groups, labeling organizations, and trade associations are not directly eligible to apply, but EPA encourages these groups to partner with eligible applicants.

Additional Background

EPA’s P2 program has issued nearly 500 grants between 2011-2021, totaling more than $50 million, which have helped businesses identify, develop and adopt P2 approaches. These approaches have resulted in eliminating 19.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, saving 49 billion gallons of water, reducing 917 million pounds of hazardous materials and pollutants, and saving of more than $2.2 billion for business.

Read more about P2 and the P2 grant program.

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