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SUPPORTING ANAEROBIC DIGESTION IN COMMUNITIES
This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits applications that will demonstrate means of accelerating the development of new or enhance/increase existing anaerobic digestion capacity and infrastructure in the United States from food waste. This funding announcement supports the priorities detailed in President Biden’s Executive Order 13985 titled Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government and Executive Order 14008 titled Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic (plant and animal) materials. Food waste diverted from landfills and incinerators can be managed at AD facilities. The AD process generates renewable energy (biogas) and a product that can improve soil health (digestate). Food waste AD reduces landfill methane emissions. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period.
EPA is interested in funding projects that increase anaerobic digestion capacity in the United States. Such projects may include enhancements of existing infrastructure or the acceleration of the development of new infrastructure. In September 2015, EPA, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced a domestic goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by the year 2030. In addition, in fiscal years 2019, 2020, and 2021 Congress provided EPA with funds to help public entities demonstrate community AD applications to municipal solid waste streams and farm needs, such as capturing excess phosphorus.
EPA is soliciting applications for a wide variety of projects that are designed to increase the use of AD for the management of organic materials in the United States. It is anticipated that applications will include projects that create new AD capacity, optimize use of existing capacity, or identify strategies that otherwise result in an increase in management of organic materials through AD. EPA also recognizes and encourages applications that demonstrate the effective marketing and/or sale of AD products (e.g., biogas and digestate). Such projects are beneficial to the AD industry and can therefore build the foundation for the development of additional AD infrastructure.
In addition, EPA is seeking AD projects that address environmental justice concerns and focus predominantly on addressing the disproportionate and adverse (see below) human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts, resulting from industrial, governmental, commercial and/or other actions that have affected and/or currently affect people/communities of color, low income, tribal, and indigenous populations, and if applicable other vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Deadline: Oct. 7, 2021
Applications will be accepted from States (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands), local, Tribal, interstate, and intrastate government agencies and instrumentalities, and non-profit organizations that are not 501(c)(4) organizations that lobby, including non-profit educational institutions and non-profit hospitals.
The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $2,000,000. EPA anticipates awarding approximately one to two grants per EPA region in amounts ranging from $50,000 - $200,000 per award.