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EPA awards climate planning grants to New England cities, states

Reporter: Smartcitiesdive

 EPA awards climate planning grants to New England cities, states

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Listen to the article 3 min This audio is auto-generated. Please let us know if you have feedback Dive Brief: New England states and six metropolitan areas in the region will get about $24 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to develop comprehensive, economy-wide plans to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday. The EPA awarded $1 million each to the metro areas of Boston; Providence; and Worcester, Massachusetts; as well as up to $1 million each to the Connecticut metro areas of Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk; Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown; and New Haven. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire each received $3 million for state-level climate mitigation planning. Dive Insight: The awards are part of the first phase of the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program, which will provide $250 million for noncompetitive planning grants — like those awarded in New England this week.

Overall, the EPA planned to distribute $1 million to each of the 67 most populous metropolitan statistical areas in the country, alongside $3 million each for states, D.C. and Puerto Rico; $500,000 for territories and a set-aside total of $25 million for tribes. These funds are being used to update or create climate, energy or sustainability plans, which have become commonplace in cities around the nation.

Almost every eligible state and metropolitan area has received its funds. Four states, however, have refused to apply for the money — Florida, South Dakota, Iowa and Kentucky — so the EPA is instead sending it to their biggest cities. By the end of the year, the EPA expects to kick off the next phase of the program with a notice of funding opportunity for $4.6 billion in competitive implementation grants.

Those grants, which will allow communities to actually move forward on implementing the ambitious ideas in their climate plans, will be between $2 million and $500 million each. States and municipalities must complete their climate action plans by March 1, 2024, and applications for the implementation grants will likely be due on or around April 1, according to the EPA.

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