Guide to Local Recovery Update: Nov. 2

Nov 2, 2022

The U.S. Economic Development Administration and California Association for Local Economic Development released a playbook to help cities develop more sustainable, nimble economies. Additionally, deadlines for several brownfield grant programs and a technical assistance program are fast-approaching. NLC released multiple recovery resources, including an overview of six federal programs that can help cities advance major infrastructure, transportation, and environmental priorities.

New playbook highlights tools, tactics, and resources for economic disruption 

The U.S. Economic Development Administration and California Association for Local Economic Development recently published the Economic Development Recovery and Resiliency Playbook. Resiliency and recovery often go hand in hand as city leaders must often respond to multiple economic disruptions.

The Playbook provides information about best practices, practical tools, and a methodical roadmap to a sustainable, nimble, and resilient economy. The Playbook also includes an appendix of useful federal, state, regional, and local resiliency and recovery resources.

The Playbook was written with the understanding that local economic developers work to foster a robust range of businesses that provide jobs and economic opportunities for residents. In turn, a growing economy allows cities to provide services, amenities, and opportunities for their residents in a way that aligns with the community’s vision and values.

Brownfield grant program applications due Nov. 22

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for multiple brownfield grant programs. A brownfield is a type of property with known or suspected hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. Cleaning up brownfields can yield significant financial, infrastructural, and environmental benefits.

The Brownfield Program provides direct funding for brownfields assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, environmental job training, technical assistance, training, and research. The federal infrastructure law injected $1.5 billion into the highly successful program. 

Each grant page includes an exhaustive list of resources, including recorded webinars, FAQs, and application tips. Applications are due Nov. 22.

U.S. Transportation Department offering free technical assistance 

The U.S. Department of Transportation has an open call for free technical assistance support through its Thriving Communities Program. The program will help ensure that disadvantaged communities adversely or disproportionately affected by environmental, climate, and human health policy outcomes can compete for federal aid and deliver quality infrastructure projects.

The Transportation Department recently uploaded several webinars about the application process and capacity builders. Interested applicants must identify community partners and submit a letter of interest by Dec. 6 to be considered for selection.

NLC releases new infrastructure, housing, and environmental recovery resources 

The National League of Cities released several recovery resources, including an overview of six key programs that can help cities advance major infrastructure, transportation, and environmental protection priorities while also enabling equitable access to nature. The article is part of an online grant funding resource.

New opportunities will be added to the resource as more grant programs come online. The online portal and article include links to more resources and information on previously funded projects.

Additionally, NLC will host a webinar on how cities can use American Rescue Plan Act funds for housing production and preservation. The Dec. 8 webinar will include an overview of eligible uses and recent updates to the program guidance enhancing flexibility, including for long-term loans. The session will be followed by a brief Q&A.

NLC and other local government associations are also holding a deep dive into the EPA’s proposed PFAS rule. The change would designate two types of PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, better known as “Superfund.”

PFAS are dangerous, “forever chemicals” that do not decay, are highly mobile, and can be found in everyday objects. This designation could impact cities and other local entities, particularly around the reporting and cleanup of these substances. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted through Nov. 7.

City officials looking for additional information about the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or additional recovery tools can visit the Cal Cities Guide to Local Recovery portal