Environmental Justice Grants (American Rescue Plan Act) - American Cities Climate Challenge
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Environmental Justice Grants (American Rescue Plan Act)

Federal Agency




To provide grants, contracts and other agency activities that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in minority populations or low-income populations under designated sections of environmental statutes. These include: Sec. 103(b) of the Clean Air Act Sec. 1442 of the Safe Drinking Water Act Sec. 104(k)(7)(A) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 Sec.791 - Sec.797 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility determined under relevant statutes. Projects include: air quality research and grants to air pollution control agencies; safe drinking water research and grants to states, local entities, and other operators of publicly owned water systems; brownfields remediation and revitalization; and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding.

Decarbonization Considerations

The American Rescue Plan Act allocated an additional $50 million in funding to EPA to be used for existing programs that identify and address environmental justice issues. On June 25, 2021, EPA announced the funding breakdown for this $50M. These include: $16.65 million for EJ grants, including the State EJ Cooperative Agreement Awards, EJ collaborative problem-solving, and EJ Small Grants; $7 million for a tailored use of DERA for electric school buses; $5 million for brownfield sites redevelopment; $4.85 million for children's health issues, including funding for Children's Healthy Learning Environments Grant and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units; and $2.15 million for programs to build community capacity to address air and water issues in underserved communities. Specialized technical assistance will help align school reopening investments with clean air and neighborhood cooling shelter needs and promote equitable resilience and revitalization. Decarbonization options within these programs may include electrifying school bus fleets and renewable energy project development on brownfields and at other public facilities.

Equity Considerations

Addressing environmental justice and the disproportionate burden of pollution on low-income and communities of color is the primary goal of these additional EPA funds. Some of the programs have formalized community engagement mechanisms, and community involvement should be emphasized in all phases of the project, including project prioritization, planning, design, and implementation.

Helpful Tips

A request for applications from April 2021 for the Environmental Justice Small Grants component of this funding may be viewed here: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2021-04/documents/ejsg_2021_rfa_amendment_4.21_0.pdf

Other Notes

One-time funding increase from American Rescue Plan Act, monitor for further agency guidance.

Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

June 1, 2021 for Environmental Justice Small Grants. Monitor for Notice of Funding Opportunities for other programs.

Funding Available


Max Award Amount

$75,000 for Environmental Justice Small Grants. Unknown for other programs, monitor for further information.

Expected Allocations

100 for Environmental Justice Small Grants. Unknown for other programs, monitor for further information.

Average Award (Estimated)

$750 for Environmental Justice Small Grants. Unknown for other programs, monitor for further information.

Matching Funds

New program, more information forthcoming.

Go to Program Website