EPA Announces P2 Grant for Environmental Justice through Safer and More Sustainable Products
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On March 8, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $16 million for two new grant opportunities to support states and Tribes in providing technical assistance to businesses seeking to develop and adopt pollution prevention (P2) practices that advance environmental justice in underserved communities. The Request for Applications for P2 investments include the Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice Through Safer and More Sustainable Products. The goal of this grant is to address environmental justice by providing P2 technical assistance to businesses (e.g., information, training, expert advice) to improve human health and the environment in disadvantaged communities by increasing the supply, demand, and use of safer and more sustainable products, such as those that are certified by EPA’s Safer Choice Program, or those that conform to EPA’s Recommendations for Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing (EPA Recommendations).
To allow a greater number of disadvantaged communities to benefit from the results and lessons learned from projects funded by these grants, EPA states that it is requiring recipients to develop P2 case studies on approaches to make safer and sustainable products more available in disadvantaged communities where the approaches are new, not widely known or adopted, or where the recipient believes detailed information on the project could support more widespread project replication. Recipients must develop at least one case study during the grant period. According to EPA, it will use these case studies to build and share a body of knowledge about P2 approaches to make safer and sustainable products more available in disadvantaged communities that could be implemented by other enterprises.
Eligible entities include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, any agency or instrumentality of a state or Tribe, including colleges and universities, and federally recognized Tribes and intertribal consortia. EPA “strongly” encourages applicants to develop partnerships where they can strengthen their ability to provide P2 technical assistance to businesses in disadvantaged communities.
EPA will hold informational webinars on March 21, March 23, March 28, and March 30, 2023. Although EPA’s press release states that applications for the grant are due June 6, 2023, the information on grants.gov states that the closing date for applications is June 20, 2023.