Webinar: EPA Listening Session for Funding to Address Air Pollution at Schools

Mark your calendars: The U.S. EPA is holding a listening session next week to get input on the design of a new grant and technical assistance program funded by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Register to hear a high-level overview of the Funding to Address Air Pollution at Schools program and offer your feedback on how the EPA can best address school air quality issues in low-income and disadvantaged communities with this funding.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET

About the Funding to Address Air Pollution at Schools Program

Funds Available

The Environmental and Climate Justice Program will distribute $3 billion in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding through grants and technical assistance:

• $2.8 billion in grants for activities benefiting disadvantaged communities

• $200 million for technical assistance related to the grants


Indian tribes, local governments, and higher education institutions may apply in partnership with one or more community-based nonprofit organizations.

Applicants must use funding for one of the following purposes:

  • Community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, and investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure and workforce development that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants
  • Mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events
  • Climate resiliency and adaptation
  • Reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution
  • Facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal advisory groups, workshops, rulemakings, and other public processes

Seeking Feedback

The EPA welcomes public input on the following program areas:

Program Design

  • Program design considerations to ensure grants benefit disadvantaged communities
  • Feedback on rolling application period and holistic approach
  • Best practices to reduce burdens for applicants, grantees, subgrantees
  • Techniques to prevent application burden, such as oral presentation components

Eligible Project Types

  • Types of projects eligible for funding (e.g., pollution prevention, workforce, climate resilience, adaptation, facilitating engagement in public processes)
  • Challenges and barriers to connecting residents of disadvantaged, underserved, and under-represented communities to workforce opportunities, and mitigating programs, services, and partnerships
  • Project types that incorporate nature-based solutions to advance climate adaptation and resilience

Eligible Recipients

  • Defining a “community based nonprofit organization”
  • Defining a “partnership” and important associated characteristics
  • Requirements to ensure projects and partnerships are community driven and avoid displacement of residents and small businesses
  • Facilitating partnership development through EPA-sponsored events (webinars, online forums)

Reporting and Oversight

  • Types of governance structures, reporting requirements, audit requirements to ensure successful implementation
  • Examples of other compliance requirements that EPA should consider when designing the ECJ Program
  • Ideas to reduce reporting requirements while ensuring proper grant oversight
  • Metrics to track program progress, including benefits in disadvantaged communities and addressing environmental justice concerns

Technical Assistance

  • Types of technical assistance most helpful to support grantees with implementation
  • Types of entities best suited to provide technical assistance

General Feedback

  • Any other comments on the design, structure, and/or implementation of the ECJ Program
  • Opportunities for the overall simplification of application process and program

In mid-summer 2023, the EPA is expected to post the program’s Request for Proposals (RFP), awarding grants totaling up to $2 billion. The EPA expects Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers to begin operations in advance of the RFP period. Their purpose is to remove barriers and improve accessibility for communities with environmental justice concerns to apply for and access funds under the Environmental and Climate Justice Program.