The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award $7.8 Million in grants to 20 U.S. communities, including two Native American tribes, for projects that will reduce greenhouse gases.
The funds will help these 20 “Climate Showcase Communities” pay for projects that will target every aspect of a community’s carbon footprint—from increasing energy efficiency in homes and businesses to helping residents save fuel by decreasing the number of miles they drive. The communities demonstrated their commitment to the program by contributing more than $5.6 million in matching or leveraged funds. Grantees were also required to show their ability to achieve ongoing greenhouse gas reductions as well as their ability to track, measure, and show progress toward their goals. (EPA will also monitor the progress and will post quarterly updates online.)
The communities are located in Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Washington, Arizona, New Jersey, Utah, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. An additional 5 communities, and $2.2 million, are still under review; funds are expected to be awarded in the next few months.
EPA reports that preliminary calculations estimate that, by 2012, the projects will reduce about 135,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually—equivalent to the emissions from 25,000 passenger vehicles or 12,000 homes. The projects will also save more than $4.5 million per year in energy costs. Several projects are also expected to create or maintain jobs and provide green job training.
The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA. For more information about this program, and any recent decision of EPA, please contact Steve O’Day, Phillip Hoover or Jessica Lee Reece. More information on the grants and recipients is also available here.