$2 Billion Available Nationally for Disadvantaged Communities.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) is encouraging local governments, community-based nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education to pursue an unprecedented federal funding opportunity to address climate challenges and reduce pollution. The Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant Program (Community Change Grants), created by the Inflation Reduction Act and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), offers $2 billion in grants in two tracks of funding.

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Track I, Community-Driven Investments for Change, is expected to award approximately $1.96 billion for 150 projects for $10-20 million each. Track II, Meaningful Engagement for Equitable Governance, is expected to award approximately $40 million for 20 projects for $1-3 million each.

Community Change Grants from U.S. EPA may be used for the following types of activities:

• Climate resiliency and adaptation.

• Mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events.

• Community-led air and other (including water and waste) pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation.

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• Investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure.

• Workforce development that supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.

• Reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution.

• Facilitating the engagement of disadvantaged communities in State and Federal advisory groups, workshops, rulemakings, and other public processes.

The federal Notice of Funding Opportunity will remain open until November 21, 2024, and U.S. EPA will review applications on a rolling basis. U.S. EPA recommends submitting applications as soon as possible, which allows applicants to utilize technical assistance and possibly resubmit a new application if not initially selected.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, U.S. EPA received $200 million for Technical Assistance, which includes support for preparing a Community Change grant application. To request Technical Assistance, please fill out the request form or call 1-800 540-8123 if you have any questions or need help in filling out the form.

Illinois EPA is not administering the Community Change Grant program and has no role in reviewing applications or overseeing project implementation. This announcement is intended to alert eligible entities to the funding opportunity and thereby increase federal investment in Illinois that will benefit disadvantaged communities.

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