Friday, March 17, 2023

EPA joins Governor Polis at Denver elementary school to announce $3 million for innovative Climate Pollution projects

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Colorado will be receiving up to $3 million to develop innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the state.

At the International Academy of Denver at Harrington Elementary School, EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker and Governor Jared Polis announced Colorado will be receiving the funding as a partner in EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program. This program provides flexible planning resources to develop and implement climate solutions that will protect the people of Colorado from pollution and advance environmental justice.

“This is the first step in a strategic effort to help states build common-sense solutions to reduce climate pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker.  “Governor Polis has been a great partner and advocate for climate action, and EPA looks forward to supporting the Colorado-grown projects that will make our communities, our state, and our nation, healthier and stronger.”

“Colorado’s nation-leading work to fight for clean air and reduce emissions are part of our commitment to protect the community we love now and for generations to come. This exciting new funding supported by the majority of our federal delegation and the EPA helps to build upon our important work as we make bold progress towards achieving ambitious climate goals including 100% renewable energy by 2040, and we appreciate this federal support," said Governor Jared Polis of Colorado. 

"After years of inaction, Washington finally invested in the fight against climate change by passing the Inflation Reduction Act. This funding will help Colorado continue to lead the country in cutting pollution, addressing our climate crisis, and building a healthier future for all Coloradans," said Senator Bennet. 

“This grant helps set the groundwork for Colorado to cut emissions and build a thriving, clean energy economy,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “Finding solutions that lift up our vulnerable and low-income communities will be a win for all Coloradans.” 

“We have to do more to protect the communities that are suffering the most,” said Congresswoman DeGette. “Environmental Justice needs to be more than just a catchphrase, it needs to be our collective mission. We need all levels of government working together to ensure everyone – no matter where they live or how much money they make – is able to live and thrive in a healthy, clean environment.”

Colorado is among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico eligible to receive $3 million each in grant funds. Colorado will use the funds to update its existing climate action plan in collaboration with municipalities and communities across the state.   The State will also conduct meaningful public engagement on its plan, focusing on low-income and disadvantaged communities.  By summer 2023, EPA Regional Offices expect to award and administer the funding agreements.

Later this year, EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in follow-up funding to implement projects and initiatives in state, Tribal and territorial climate action plans, which Colorado is eligible to receive. Colorado may use this current funding to develop strategies for using other grant, loan, and tax provisions secured by President Biden’s historic legislation, including the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to achieve its clean energy, climate, and environmental justice goals.

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes historic funding to combat climate change while creating good-paying jobs and advancing environmental justice. Today’s announcement builds on $550 million announced earlier this month for EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program and $100 million announced earlier this year for environmental justice grants to support underserved and overburdened communities. Additionally, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country.