EPA Awards Environmental Education Grants in 24 States, Puerto Rico, D.C.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the completion of the latest round of awards under the Environmental Education (EE) Grants Program.

Projects include a community-based program to study Monarch butterflies, a watershed and stream monitoring teacher training program, a classroom-based simulation of the United Nations Climate Summit, and a mobile laboratory. Additional projects include school-based, after-school and non-formal EE programs focusing on a range of environmental issues, from air quality to recycling.

The agency funded 35 grants from across the country, ranging from $40,000 to $192,200, for a total of approximately $3.3 million.

Grant recipients include organizations in 24 states as well as from Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. States include: Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Projects funded in U.S. EPA Region 5 include:

Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 million and $3.5 million in grant funding per year, for a total of approximately $65.5 million supporting more than 3,600 grant projects.

This year, EPA distributed two types of grants under the EE Grants Program. Projects awarded under the Model Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) are intended to serve as model, replicable projects; each project will be implemented in at least two states. Local Grant awards fund locally focused EE projects. EPA anticipates issuing a new RFP for Local Grants in the winter of 2015-2016.

The grantees were selected from more than 400 applications received in February and March of this year. This longstanding, highly competitive grants program supports EE projects that increase public awareness about environmental issues and provide participants with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques.

For more information on the new awardees and on how to apply for future EE grant competitions, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants

Energy Department Announces Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program National Evaluation Results

The Energy Department announced today the results of a major national evaluation of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The evaluation reflects ARRA’s historic level of stimulus—$3.2 billion—and demonstrates the impact of state and local energy efficiency programs to spur economic development through energy savings, job creations, and carbon emissions reductions.

The study fielded independent key outcomes for EECBG during ARRA from 2009–2015. In surveying results, the study determined that for every EECBG dollar spent, program participants received $1.76 in bill savings over the lifetime of the measures installed (at a 2.7% discount rate).

Key findings:

  • Lifetime energy savings and renewable generation resulting from EECBG investments: 413 million source metric British thermal units. This is equivalent to the average amount of energy used for non-transportation applications in about 2.2 million households over a one year period.
  • Lifetime cost-savings: $5.2 billion of total cumulative savings on energy bills.
  • Job creation: More than 62,900 direct, indirect, and induced jobs were created or retained. This is equivalent to about one job per $36,000 in EECBG dollars invested.

The evaluation demonstrates EECBG was among one of the most effective instruments in federal energy policy, aimed at deploying efficient and impactful energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and practices. The program helped leverage federal and local funds, while educating individuals and organizations about energy-saving opportunities.

The multiyear, peer-reviewed study was led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It is the most comprehensive, detailed analysis conducted to date for the program.

The EECBG program operated under the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The program provided grants and technical assistance to cities, counties, states, Tribal governments, and territories to support a wide variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy activities.

Proposals now being accepted for DOD’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking to fund environmental research and development proposals.  SERDP is DoD’s environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, with participation by numerous other Federal and non-Federal organizations.  The Program invests across the broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development.

Proposals responding to focused Statements of Need (SONs) in the following areas are requested:

  • Environmental Restoration — Research and technologies for the characterization, risk assessment, remediation, and management of contaminants in soil, sediments, and water.
  • Munitions Response — Technologies for the detection, classification, and remediation of military munitions on U.S. lands and waters.
  • Resource Conservation and Climate Change — Research that advances DoD’s management of its natural and cultural resources and improves understanding of climate change impacts.
  • Weapons Systems and Platforms — Research and technologies to reduce, control, and understand the sources of waste and emissions in the manufacturing, maintenance, and use of weapons systems and platforms.

Proposals responding to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 SONs will be selected through a competitive process.  Separate solicitations are available to Federal and non-Federal proposers.  The SONs and detailed instructions are available on the SERDP website.

The Core SERDP Solicitation provides funding in varying amounts for multi-year projects.  All Core Solicitation pre-proposals are due to SERDP January 7, 2016, by 2:00 p.m. ET.

SERDP also will be funding environmental research and development through the SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation.  The SEED Solicitation is designed to provide a limited amount of funding (not to exceed $200,000) for projects up to approximately one year in duration to investigate innovative approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept.  This year, SERDP is requesting SEED proposals for the Resource Conservation and Climate Change and Weapons Systems and Platforms program areas.  The SONs and detailed instructions are available on the SERDP website. All SEED proposals are due Tuesday, March 8, 2016, by 2:00 p.m. ET.

Participate in the webinar “SERDP Funding Opportunities” conducted by SERDP Acting Executive Director Dr. Anne Andrews and Deputy Director Dr. Andrea Leeson on November 10, 2015, from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET.  This briefing will offer valuable information for those who are interested in new funding opportunities with SERDP.  During the online seminar, participants may ask questions about the funding process, the current SERDP solicitation, and the proposal submission process.  Pre-registration for this webinar is required.  If you have difficulty registering, please contact the SERDP Support Office at partners@hgl.com or 703-736-4547.

Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award

Letters of intent due: January 26, 2016; January 28, 2017; January 27,  2018
Applications due: February 26, 2016; February 28, 2017; February 27, 2018, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
Read the full solicitation.

The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award is intended to identify the most talented Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) who intend to make a long-term commitment to research in the Environmental Health Sciences and assist them in launching an innovative research program focused on the understanding of environmental exposure effects on people’s health.


Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreements Program

Proposals due Feb 12, 2016.
Full RFP

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (CPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. The CPS Program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.

The CPS Program requires selected applicants, or recipients, to use the EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model (PDF) (44 pp, 1.5MB) as part of their projects. The model aims to address local environmental and/or public health issues in a collaborative manner with various stakeholders such as communities, industry, academic institutions, and others. Case Studies from the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program (PDF) (29 pp, 3.6M) highlights some of the success and effective strategies of previous projects.

Eligible applicants: Nonprofit organizations; Federally recognized tribal governments; Native American Organizations (includes Indian groups, cooperatives, partnerships, associations)

The following organizations are ineligible to receive awards but may partner with eligible applicants:

  • Colleges and universities;
  • Hospitals;
  • State and local governments and their entities;
  • Quasi-governmental entities (e.g.,water districts, utilities);
  • National organizations and chapters of the aforementioned organizations;
  • Multi-state organizations; and
  • Non-profit organizations that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

Energy-Saving Solutions in the Bluegrass State

Read the full story in the EERE Blog.

The Energy Department is continuing partnerships with state and local governments to advance efficiency in both energy and water use. One way of doing this is by implementing Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), an approach to making improvements that reduce energy and water use and increase operational efficiency without upfront costs. Under the ESPC model, energy efficiency upgrades are paid for by future cost savings made by the upgrades themselves, over a set term. At the end of the ESPC, the customer owns the improvements and continues to reap the savings.

Apply for a grant from the Fund for Environmental Journalism

SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism welcomes applications for grants of up to $5,000 to underwrite story projects. The next application deadline is November 15, 2015. Contact Jeanne Scanlon with questions about this program.

In 2015-16 grant cycles, funding is available for story projects in three categories: 1) open topic, including international; 2) coverage of land-use issues of North America; and 3) coverage of  biodiversity conservation and climate-change impacts in North America. For the first time, freelance independent journalists may also include a stipend in the proposed budget. (See guidelines.)

SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism invests in top quality public service journalism on environment-related issues, and the journalists who produce it.  FEJ grants support development and dissemination of significant coverage that otherwise could not be completed. The selection jury looks for news value, undiscovered or under-reported news, a fresh take on a familiar story, and potential for community impact.