Funding Opportunity: Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program

This is part of a series highlighting funding opportunities for school districts and universities. Find related resources here. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights announced a new funding opportunity to assist nonprofit organizations working to address environmental or public health issues in their communities. The EPA anticipates making 83 awards totaling $30 million through the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program (EJCPS). 

Full details and requirements for the application are available here

The deadline for applications is April 14, 2023, at 11:59 pm EST.


The EJCPS Program anticipates awarding approximately $30 million of Inflation Reduction Act funding through 83 cooperative agreements, organized in two tracks of funding:  

  • $25 million for CBOs proposing projects for up to $500,000 each.(50 awards)
  • $5 million for qualifying small CBOs with 5 or fewer full-time employees proposing projects for up to $150,000 each. For more details about this opportunity, please review closely the “Small Community-based Nonprofit Set Aside.” (33 awards)


Individual community based nonprofit organizations and partnerships of community based nonprofit organizations may apply. 
Applications must address one of the following categories:   

  • 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 toxins and indoor air pollution 
  • Facilitating engagement of marginalized communities in local, state, and federal public processes, such as advisory groups, workshops, and rulemakings 


Applications can be submitted via and must include: 

Section Points Description 
1.0 Program Objectives: Applications will be evaluated based on the extent and quality of how well the project addresses program objectives by demonstrating the following: 
Project Summary Page Summary document should include:  Project Title  Project Location (community/neighborhood(s), city, state, etc.)  Applicant Information (org name, address, main contact)  Brief Description of Applicant Organization – Provide a brief description (100 words or less) of the applicant organization, including its mission and key ongoing projects/activities in which it is involved.  Are you applying for the Small CBO Set Aside Track for $150,000 projects? (Yes/No) If yes, ensure you submit documentation with your application (such as an employee roster) verifying the number of full-time employees on staff and the associated hours per week and salary/wage details for each full-time employee.  Project Abstract  Environmental Issue – I.e., Air, Water, Waste, etc.  Project Type(s) – e.g., training, monitoring, demonstration, small-scale construction, public education Special Considerations – If applicable to your project, which special considerations do you believe your project qualifies for? (Climate Change/Disaster Resiliency, Rural Areas, Health Impact Assessment, or any Other Factor described below in Section V)  List of Project Partners Will you need to develop a QAPP for your project? (See Appendix H) 
Environmental and Public Health information of the Underserved Community 12 Applications will be evaluated on how clearly they describe the local environmental justice issue(s) the project proposes to address and the community that is impacted, including the extent and quality to which the application: (maximum 4 points each):   Describes and characterizes the underserved community directly impacted by disproportionate environmental and/or public health harms and risks and how the community is impacted by those harms and risks (i.e., Who is the community comprised of and what are the disproportionate environmental and/or public health issues they experience?) Describes the local environmental/public health issue(s) that the project seeks to address  Describes the local environmental/public health results the project seeks to achieve and how will the underserved community benefit from those results  The applicant must include relevant information such as demographics, geographic location, and community history, using EPA’s EJSCREEN tool (or other EJ-based mapping tool) to help you characterize and describe your target community.  
Organization’s Connection to the Underserved Community Demonstrates the strong connection between their organization and the underserved community including (maximum 3 points each):   History of your organization’s involvement with the underserved community, including duration of involvement and circumstances that led to your organization’s involvement;  How your organization has worked with the underserved community’s residents and/or organizations to address local environmental and public health issues currently or in the past and what are some of the results of that work. Include information about recent efforts in the community, if any, that have sought to address the disproportionate issues you described in 1.b. )  Community Driven Participation – How the underserved community’s residents and/or organizations were involved in developing the current project plan and are part of the decision-making process 
EJCPS Model Demonstrates that one or more of the seven elements of the EJCPS Model will be undertaken for this project, and the reasonableness and achievability of the associated timeline and milestones for each element selected.  
Project Linkages The application will be evaluated on the extent and quality to which it supports EPA Strategic Plan Goal 2 (Take Decisive Action to Advance Environmental Justice and Civil Rights), Objective 2.2 (Promote Environmental Justice and Civil Rights at the Federal, Tribal, State, and Local Levels) Refer to link Below: 
Partner and Collaborate 12 Under this criterion, EPA will evaluate:  planned roles of each partner listed on the Project Summary Page how each partner will contribute to the project,  what resources each partner brings to the project  how the partner has a vested interest in working with this partnership (other than just getting income from a sub-award or contract)  how the applicant organization plans to sustain these relationships on into the future  If you intend to fund a partner’s participation in the project describe how the proposed financial transaction complies with applicable requirements in 2 CFR Part 200 or EPA Guidance on Participant Support Costs. (6 points)  Letters of Commitment. Applicants will be evaluated based on the quality of the letters of commitment submitted with the application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least three letters of commitment from three partners from three different stakeholder groups. 
2.0 Project Activities/ Milestone Schedule/ Detailed Budget Narrative: Under this criterion, applications will be evaluated based on the extent and quality to which they demonstrate the following:  
Project Activities 10 Clearly identified steps that the applicant will take that will reasonably progress towards achieving the program objectives and a clear description of the detailed project activities or components and the anticipated products/results associated with each activity as described in Section IV. 
Milestone Schedule A clearly articulated and realistic milestone schedule, including timeframes and major milestones to complete significant project activities within the period of performance. NOTE – The period of performance is 3 years with no extensions. 
Itemized Budget Sheet / Budget Narrative Reasonable and allowable costs for each component/activity. Applicants must itemize costs into the following budget categories: personnel, fringe benefits, contractual costs, travel, equipment, supplies, other direct costs, indirect costs, and total costs. 
3.0 Environmental Results—Outcomes, Outputs and Performance Measures (Logic Model) – Under this criterion, applications will be evaluated based on the following elements: 
Environmental Results Outputs/Outcomes Applicants will be evaluated on the quality of the expected project outputs and outcomes identified in the application for their project. The expected outputs and outcomes should be effective in achieving the Program Objectives listed in Section I, including developing strategies for addressing local environmental and public health issues, educating and empowering the community about those issues, and developing approaches to building consensus and setting community priorities in the underserved community. 
Performance Measurement Plan Applicants will be evaluated on the extent and quality to which the application demonstrates a sound plan for tracking progress towards achieving the expected outputs, outcomes, and associated timeframes for achieving those results. 
Sustainability Plan and Community Vision Description of how the applicant plans to utilize the results and momentum of the proposed project to come closer to achieve the community’s goals and objectives. Details about current work and initiatives in the community, and how the community has a vested interest in sustaining the project’s momentum on into the future should also be included.  
4.0 Programmatic Capability: Under this criterion, applications will be evaluated based on the applicant’s ability to successfully complete and manage the proposed project, taking into account their: 
Organizational Excellence Organizational experience related to the proposed project, and the organization’s infrastructure as it relates to their ability to successfully implement the proposed project 
Staff Experience / Qualifications of Project Manager (PM) The applicant will be evaluated on the ability to clearly demonstrate that the selected PM and other staff associated with the project are qualified to successfully perform the project. This will be determined through evaluating the following:  How the PM and staff are qualified to undertake the project successfully;  Illustrating the PM’s ties/historical connection to the community and the applicant organization. Please include detailed descriptions of any activities that the PM has worked on with the community and/or applicant organization.  
Expenditure of Awarded Grant Funds, and plan for compliance with EPA’s Pre-award Compliance Review for Nonprofit Organizations Under this criterion, applicants will be evaluated based on their approach, procedures, and controls for ensuring that awarded grant funds will be expended in a timely and efficient manner. 
5.0 Past Performance: Under this criterion, applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to successfully complete and manage the proposed project taking into account their past performance with respect to the agreements they listed in the application workplan as required under Section IV. 
List of Federally funded and/or nonfederally funded Assistance Agreements and Reporting History Applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to successfully complete and manage the proposed project taking into account the applicant’s:  past performance in successfully completing and managing the assistance agreements identified in response to Section IV  history of meeting the reporting requirements under the assistance agreements identified in response to Section IV including whether the applicant submitted acceptable final technical reports under those agreements and the extent to which the applicant adequately and timely reported on their progress towards achieving the expected outputs and outcomes under those agreements and if such progress was not being made whether the applicant adequately reported why not  

Questions on the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and this Funding Opportunity Announcement can be directed to

Funding Opportunity # EPA-R-OEJECR-OCS-23-01