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Director’s Update – June 14, 2022

Dear Energy Community Supporter,

Thank you for your continued interest in the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) Director Updates. Before you read further about our new public comment portal, new funding opportunities, and more, please take a moment to follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Public Comment Portal Open

Energy Communities IWG today launched a public comment portal. Information provided will be used to help the federal working group prioritize and plan assistance to energy communities. Submit your comments within the next 60 days at https://energycommunities.gov/comment/.

New Funding Opportunities

  • U.S. Department of Energy Offers Technical Assistance for Manufacturers in Former Coal Communities. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $750 million to expand or establish manufacturing or recycling facilities for the production or recycling of advanced energy technologies or to re-equip existing manufacturing facilities with equipment designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Click here to read more.

  • U.S. Department of Energy Releases Notice of Intent to Fund Clean Hydrogen Hub Program. The $8 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program will develop regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country, creating good-paying jobs and economic opportunities for rural America. Read more here.

  • U.S. Department of Energy Launches $3.5 Billion Direct Air Capture Program. Funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program seeks to advance projects to capture and store carbon dioxide pollution directly from the air. Learn how this can benefit energy communities.

  • U.S. Department of Commerce Awards Assistance to Coal Communities Initiative Funding to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Johnstown will use the $708,000 investment to repair water and roadway infrastructure, which will support business expansion and local job recruitment. More on this funding opportunity here.

  • University of Charleston in West Virginia Receives Grant to Establish Downtown Innovation Hub. Through its Assistance to Coal Communities Initiative, the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded $1.6 million to the university to develop the Downtown Innovation Hub, a local business incubator that will provide workforce and economic opportunities to Charleston, WV. Click here to read more.

  • Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Opens Notice of Funding Opportunity for Community Economic Development Program. Approximately $12.3 million in discretionary grant funds will be awarded to community development corporations to enhance job creation for individuals with low-income and business development for communities, including energy communities. Learn more and apply.

  • Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services is Planning to Open Notice of Funding Opportunity for Community Economic Development Focus on Energy Communities Grants. Approximately $3.2 million in discretionary grant funds will be awarded to community development corporations located in and serve energy communities that will create or expand business(es) that reduce emissions of toxic substances and greenhouse gases or employ individuals from energy communities. Learn more.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces $1.5 Billion Available in State Opioid Response Grant Program Funding. This grant program, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides funding to states and territories to support prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for substance use disorders. Read more here.

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Awards $3 Million to Wyoming Communities. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, City of Cheyenne and Sheridan County received grants from the Brownfields Cleanup, Assessment and Revolving Loan Fund to advance the cleanup and revitalization of priority Brownfields sites. Learn more here.

  • Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Announces $122.5 Million in Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Grants. This funding will be used to repurpose abandoned coal mine sites, creating economic and community development opportunities for six states and three Tribes. Click to read more.

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $1.9 Million to Expand Workforce Training Programs in Williston, North Dakota. Williston State College will use the Coal Communities Commitment funding to acquire new equipment needed to support workforce training programs. The funding will help expand business industries and create good-paying jobs in the area. More in this EDA press release.

  • City of Hazard, Kentucky Receives $5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Water System Upgrades. The grant is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Coal Communities Commitment. It will be used to construct a new water treatment plant and related infrastructure to support industrial expansion and other local business needs in the area. Click here to read more.

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards Revolving Loan Fund Grant to Terra Haute, Indiana. This grant, funded by the EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment, will provide gap financing to small, local business in the area to help them grow and create new employment opportunities. Read more in this EDA press release.
  • Jackson, Ohio Receives Coal Communities Commitment Grant from U.S. Economic Development Administration. The $2.4 million grant will support upgrades designed to attract and retain businesses to a region experiencing high unemployment following the closure of two coal-fired plants in 2018. For more information, click here.

  • U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $7.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support West Virginia Communities. The Coal Communities Commitment grants will improve water infrastructure in McDowell County and help develop a statewide high-speed internet implementation plan. More on this critical investment.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines

Events & Additional Resources

  • Energy Communities IWG and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Host Webinar on Bipartisan Infrastructure Funding. The virtual workshop, titled “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Energy Communities,” will take place on Thursday, June 30 at 3 p.m. ET. Register here.

  • Energy Communities IWG Launches Public Comment Portal. Information provided will be used to help the federal working group prioritize and plan assistance to energy communities. Submit your comments at https://energycommunities.gov/comment/.

  • U.S. Department of Transportation Hosts “Getting Ready for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Discretionary Grant Program” Webinar. This program can support planning, construction, or technical assistance to safely remove or restore transportation infrastructure that create barriers to mobility, access, or economic development. Watch the webinar recording for more information.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration Release Joint Planning Resource Guide. This guide is designed to help rural and energy communities eliminate barriers to federal funding and resources to support economic revitalization. Check it out.

  • New Economic Development Tools and Resources from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The “EDA Tools for Economic Development” web page provides critical resources to help communities make informed development decisions. Click here to check it out.

  • U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Releases Draft Guidance for Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Grant Program. This guidance provides instructions to eligible states and Tribes on how to apply for fiscal year 2022 AML grants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. DOI is also accepting public feedback and suggestions on the guidance. Read more and submit feedback here.

  • White House Hosts Justice40 Week to Highlight Historic Investments in Overburdened and Underserved Communities. At the end of May, the Biden-Harris Administration announced $29 billion in federal funding opportunities have incorporated Justice40 considerations. The Justice40 Initiative is an all-of-government approach to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. Read more here.

On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support people living and working in America’s energy communities. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others in your network who may benefit.

Best regards,

Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy

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