If you are part of a local government, a redevelopment authority, a nonprofit organization, a community group, or economic development agency, the early part of the calendar year is a good time to research, identify, evaluate, and begin pursuing environmental grants. There are a wide variety of environmental grants available, and each year, new funding opportunities are announced. A summary of several of the more popular and well-known funding opportunities is provided below.
Federal Grant Programs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA’s) brownfields program provides direct funding for environmental assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, planning, and job training. https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
These funding opportunities are available to eligible entities for a number of environmentally related activities. Specific US EPA brownfields grant opportunities include:
- Assessment Grants
- Revolving Loan Fund Grants
- Cleanup Grants
- Area-Wide Planning Grants
- Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants
- Multi-Purpose Pilot Grants
- Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grants
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers funding through the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants Program. Communities can apply for up to $2 million to develop locally driven strategies to address and transform struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing. Both planning and implementation grants are available under this program.
The Environmental Management Division (EMD) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a variety of redevelopment funding resources to brownfields communities through both its Rural Development and Natural Resources and Environment mission areas. https://www.dm.usda.gov/emd/responserestoration/brownfields.htm
At the state level, environmental grant opportunities vary considerably. In Pennsylvania, for example, there are a significant number of grant opportunities typically available; although the number of grants and amount of funding varies from year to year. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) offers a number of grants and loan opportunities to assist groups and individuals with environmental issues. Some of the grants offered by PA DEP include Abandoned Mine Drainage Set Asides, County Planning Grants, Growing Greener Watershed Protection Grants, and Environmental Education Grants. https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/GrantsCenter/
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) also offers funding and incentives to help businesses, communities, and municipalities address environmental challenges in the Commonwealth. Funding from the Industrial Sites Reuse Program, the Infrastructure Redevelopment Program, and the Business in our Sites Program is used by remediators and developers to address environmental issues at brownfields sites. https://community.newpa.com/programs/
Private Grant Opportunities
In addition to the federal- and state-funded grant programs, there are also grants offered by private groups or as public-private partnerships. Some examples include:
Invest Health is a new initiative that represents collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Reinvestment Fund. The goal of the initiative is to provide an opportunity for mid-sized cities to transform the way local leaders work together to create solution-driven and diverse partnerships. These partnerships will emphasize making changes in low-income neighborhoods to improve resident health and well-being by increasing access to quality jobs, affordable housing, and nutritious food, while reducing crime rates and environmental hazards. https://www.investhealth.org/
Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the Environmental Solutions for Communities initiative in 2012. The program was designed to support projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. This 5-year initiative is supported through a $15 million contribution from Wells Fargo that will be used to leverage other public and private investments with an expected total impact of over $37.5 million. Funding priorities include, among others: conserving critical land and water resources, facilitating green infrastructure and renewable energy investment, and natural habitat restoration. https://www.nfwf.org/environmentalsolutions/Pages/home.aspx
The former Bailey and Ashley Silk Mill in Columbia Borough, Pennsylvania that was redeveloped as the Turkey Hill Experience using US EPA Brownfield Grant funds.
Environmental Standards, Inc., has experience helping our clients identify and apply for grant funding. We have prepared numerous successful grant applications on behalf of clients that have resulted in funding awards to be used for environmental assessment, planning, remediation, and revolving loan funds.
Contact: Joe Kraycik, P.G., or Gerry Kirkpatrick, P.G., at 610.935.5577