Guide to Local Recovery Update: March 15
More cities could be eligible for a new greenhouse gas reduction grant and federal agencies are accepting applications for a technical assistance program and environmental justice grant program. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is also hosting a series of webinars to help local governments navigate the complex landscape of federal funding opportunities.
Climate Pollution Reduction Grant eligibility could be expanded
More cities could be eligible for a new greenhouse gas reduction grant according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program currently goes to the largest 67 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). However, the EPA is encouraging areas slightly above 67 to complete a notice of intent to participate if funding becomes available.
Local governments within an MSA will need to develop an implementation plan for their region and designate an entity to serve as the lead. The lead organization must submit a notice of intent to participate by April 28, 2023.
Three local government associations, including the National League of Cities, are holding a March 16 webinar on the program and related best practices. The EPA also held several webinars about the program.
New technical assistance opportunity for federal transportation and housing grants
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) opened the portal for its Thriving Communities technical assistance program. This funding will help local governments who have received federal transportation funding ensure housing needs are considered as part of their larger infrastructure investment plans, with a focus on disadvantaged communities.
Cities that applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Thriving Communities program and have a strong interest in addressing housing issues are encouraged to apply to HUD’s Thriving Communities program. Those who applied or were selected for Transportation Department grants — including the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program and RAISE — are also encouraged to apply.
Requests will be reviewed in the order they are received on a rolling basis.
American Rescue Plan Act compliance webinars
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is hosting a series of webinars to help local governments navigate the complex landscape of federal funding opportunities.
A March 21 webinar will provide a high-level overview of permitted administrative costs in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the designation of direct and indirect costs, including de minimis total modified direct costs. A March 28 webinar will focus on ARPA’s Compliance Supplement Addendum and related best practices.
A pre-webinar survey is available for March 21 and March 28. The Office of Planning and Research also provides weekly updates on key grant opportunities and trainings through its Federal Grant Updates Listserv.
EPA accepting applications for environmental justice grant program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting applications for an environmental justice grant program. The program funds cross-organizational partnerships that help overburdened and underserved communities address environmental and public health challenges — past, present, and future. The program seeks to fund projects that are measurable, community-based, and can be easily replicated.
Approximately $20 million in funding for partnerships between local governments and community-based organizations is anticipated. Local government projects must address one of five broad categories to be eligible for funding, such as urban heat island mitigation or indoor air pollution reduction. The money was appropriated through the Inflation Reduction Act and will fund approximately 20 projects.
Applications are due April 10. Additional resources, including previously funded projects, are available online.
City officials looking for additional information about the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, or additional recovery tools can visit the Cal Cities Guide to Local Recovery portal.