The US EPA is awarding $10M in grant funding through its Climate Showcase Communities Program. This program will assist local and tribal governments in developing plans, conducting demonstrations, and implementing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while achieving additional environmental, economic, public health, and/or community benefits. The overall goal of the Climate Showcase Communities program is to create replicable models of sustainable community action that generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions while improving the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.
The Climate Showcase Communities Program provides funding for planning, demonstration and/or implementation projects designed to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The goal of this program is to implement innovative programs, projects, and approaches which demonstrate documentable reductions in GHG and are replicable elsewhere. The Office of Air and Radiation requests proposals from eligible entities, as described in Section III, which will achieve reductions of GHG emissions through actions taken by local and tribal governments.
Proposed activities must achieve reductions in GHG emissions by addressing one or more of the following priority areas:
- energy performance in municipal operations (including municipal energy, water, and wastewater utilities)
- energy performance in residential, commercial, agricultural, aqua-cultural, and/or industrial buildings
- land use, transportation, or community master planning
- reduction of vehicle miles traveled
- solid waste management
- agricultural, aqua-cultural, and natural resource management
- use or supply of green power products, on-site renewables, and other clean energy supply options
- heat island management
- removal of barriers for greenhouse gas management, through the development of effective programs, policies, or outreach
- other innovative activities which generate measurable reductions of greenhouse gases
In addition, proposals submitted for consideration should: 1) achieve ongoing GHG reductions 2) build capacity within local and tribal agencies to address GHG emissions 3) build and leverage partnerships across multiple stakeholder groups; 4) link climate change initiatives with broader environmental, economic, health, environmental justice, and social co-benefits; and 5) create models of success that are broadly replicable. Applicants will also be scored on their ability to link their proposed projects to broader climate management by describing how the project relates to “complementary activities” they have completed, in progress, or planned. Complementary activities include other policies, programs, or actions undertaken by a local or tribal government related to climate change management.
EPA anticipates awarding a total of approximately 20 to 30 cooperative agreements from this announcement, ranging in value from $100,000 to $500,000, subject to availability of funds, quality of evaluated proposals, and other applicable considerations. The maximum amount available for any award is $500,000 in federal funds. Under the tribal set-aside, EPA expects to award 1-3 cooperative agreements ranging in value from approximately $100,000 to $500,000, for a total value of approximately $500,000, subject to availability of funds, quality of evaluated proposals, and other applicable considerations. Awards are subject to the availability of funds and quality of evaluated proposals. EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months from the date of original selection date.
Deadlines and Match
The estimated project period for awards resulting from this solicitation will begin February 1, 2011. Proposed project periods may be up to three years. A 50% match is required for this program with the exception of tribal governments and intertribal consortia that are exempt from matching requirements. The cost share and/or match can be in the form of cash or as in-kind contributions, such as use of volunteers and/or donated time, equipment, expertise, etc. All matching funds are subject to the regulations governing matching fund requirements at 40 CFR 31.24. In-kind contributions often include salaries or other verifiable costs which must be carefully documented. In the case of salaries, applicants may use either minimum wage or fair market value.
Local governments—a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including any public and Indian housing agency) school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments, any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government.
Federally recognized Indian tribal governments—the governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including Native villages) certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided by him through the Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as any organization or intertribal consortium that represents federally recognized tribes.
Intertribal Consortia— an “intertribal consortium” is defined as a partnership between two or more tribes that is authorized by the governing bodies of those tribes to apply for and receive assistance under this program. Intertribal consortia are eligible to receive grants under this program only if the consortium demonstrates that all members of the consortium meet the eligibility requirements for the grant and authorize the consortium to apply for and receive assistance by submitting to EPA documentation of (1) the existence of the partnership between Indian tribal governments, and (2) authorization of the consortium by all its members to apply for and receive the grant.
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