Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/2/2024

Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants Program

The Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant program (Community Change Grants) – the subject of this NOFO – offers an unprecedented opportunity to transform disadvantaged communities across the United States into healthy, climate resilient, and thriving communities for their current and future residents. The Community Change Grants will fund community-driven projects that address climate challenges and reduce pollution while strengthening communities through thoughtful implementation. The historic levels of support provided by these grants will enable communities and their partners to overcome longstanding environmental challenges and implement meaningful solutions to meet community needs now and for generations to come.

The Community Change Grants are the final and most comprehensive piece of EPA’s implementation of ECJP IRA funding. The Community Change Grants will complement grant programs that EPA launched in 2022 and 2023, including those for the Collaborative Problem-Solving, Government-to-Government, and Thriving Communities Grantmaker programs. Collectively, these programs will empower communities and their partners to design, develop, and implement multi-faceted community-driven projects. These programs will address the diverse and unique needs of disadvantaged communities by:
1. Reducing and preventing pollution;
2. Building resilience to climate change and mitigating current and future climate risks;
3. Enhancing meaningful involvement in government processes related to environmental and climate justice;
4. Expanding access to high-quality jobs and economic opportunity through workforce development; and
5. Bolstering community strength by ensuring that local residents receive the benefits of investments and have the opportunity to build on them for current and future generations.

EPA anticipates awarding approximately $2 billion in funding through this NOFO, depending on funding availability, quality of applications received, EPA priorities, and other applicable considerations. EPA will consider applications under two separate tracks.
• Track I applications – Community-Driven Investments for Change will focus on multi-faceted applications with Climate Action and Pollution Reduction Strategies to meaningfully improve the environmental, climate, and resilience conditions affecting disadvantaged communities. Awards under Track I are expected to be $10-20 million each and cannot exceed $20 million. EPA expects to award approximately $1.96 billion for approximately 150 Track I awards, including those under the Target Investment Areas described in Section II.B.
• Track II applications – Meaningful Engagement for Equitable Governance will facilitate the engagement of disadvantaged communities in governmental processes to advance environmental and climate justice. Awards under Track II are expected to be $1-3 million each and cannot exceed $3 million. EPA will award approximately $40 million for approximately 20 Track II awards.

Under this NOFO, Lead Applicants, as defined in Section III.A, may submit a maximum of two applications and may receive up to two awards, if they demonstrate the capacity and capabilities to effectively perform, manage, oversee, and complete the awards within the three-year grant period of performance. The two applications may be two Track I applications, two Track II applications, or one of each. Lead Applicants who submit more than two total applications will be asked to withdraw the excess one(s). EPA will not review more than two applications from any one Lead Applicant. Interested applicants from within Duke should contact fundopps@duke.edu as early as possible.

Application packages will be accepted on a rolling basis, as further explained in the NOFO, until November 21, 2024.

Areas of Interest

Section 138(b)(2) of the CAA specifies that an eligible entity may use a grant awarded under this NOFO for:
1. community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, and investments in low and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure and workforce development that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions1 and other air pollutants;
2. mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events;
3. climate resiliency and adaptation;
4. reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution; or
5. facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal advisory groups, workshops, rulemakings, and other public processes.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants for the Community Change Grants include a partnership between two community-based non-profit organizations (CBOs), or a partnership between a CBO and one of the following: a Federally recognized Tribe, a local government, or an institution of higher education (IHE), including Minority Serving Institutions as further described in Section III.A. Other organizations and entities may participate in the Community Change Grants as Collaborating Entities through subawards, or as contractors selected in accordance with competitive procurement requirements. Further details about applicant eligibility, partnership requirements, Collaborating Entities, subawards, and procurement contracts are in Section III.