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Director’s Update – June 27, 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.

Upcoming Webinar

With once-in-a-generation levels of federal investments available right now, funding opportunities included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will accelerate needed financial support to local communities, including energy communities, and help ensure that all Americans have access to a clean energy future. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has two BIL programs relevant to energy communities: $50 billion available to improve our nation’s water infrastructure and $5.4 billion to clean up legacy pollution at former industrial and commercial sites.

Join Energy Communities IWG and EPA for a free webinar highlighting how energy communities can access these infrastructure dollars and how they can receive technical assistance designed to advance local projects in their communities. “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Energy Communities” will take place on Thursday, June 30 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Register today at: https://energycommunities.gov/event/u-s-environmental-protection-agencys-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding-for-energy-communities/

New Funding Opportunities

  • U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million to Establish the Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities Initiative. This initiative will inspire, empower, and equip local government leaders, nonprofit organizations, and other community champions to develop new ideas, action plans, and fundable projects as coal communities reinvent their economies. Read more here.

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Announces FY 2023 Brownfields Job Training Grants. These grants will provide local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field. Learn more about eligibility and the application process here.

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $3.4 Million to Support Diversified Business and Job Growth in Georgetown, South Carolina. Funded through the Assistance to Coal Communities Initiative, Georgetown will use the grant for water treatment plant upgrades needs to stimulate business and job growth. Learn more here.

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Awards Coal Communities Commitment Grant to Loretto, Tennessee. The town plans to use the $524,360 American Rescue Plan investment to extend sewer system capacity that will allow four manufacturing businesses to expand operations. More in this EDA press release.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines

Events & Additional Resources

  • 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 by August 9, 2022 at https://energycommunities.gov/comment/.

  • The White House Updated Its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Guidebook. Check out the newly updated BIL Guidebook at build.gov.

  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Update Webinar Recording Now Available. Watch the webinar recording here to learn about the progress made by DOE in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s first 180 days.

  • New Rural America Placemaking Toolkit from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and University of Kentucky. This toolkit provides guidance to rural communities on identifying community development projects. Check it out here.

  • Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to Host 2022 Annual Conference in Maryland on October 17-19. One Appalachia: Connection & Collaboration will highlight how the 13 Appalachian states are collaborating to bring each of ARC’s strategic investments to life. Learn more here.

Success Story

Logan Corporation began as a hardware store servicing the mining industry in Kentucky more than 115 years ago. When the coal mining industry began to decline, Logan Corporation had two options: decline with the coal mining industry or transition its business into another industry. It chose the latter.

Logan Corporation secured Community Economic Development (CED) grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services with help from Southeastern Kentucky Economic Development (SKED), a regional economic development organization.

With the grant, Logan Corporation began to transition its business to truck dump body manufacturing and design. As a result, Logan Corporation diversified the workforce in the Logan County area and hired many people who previously lost their jobs when coal mines closed. The company also invested in new equipment and inventory to expand and speed up production and increase economic opportunities for the region.

Watch this video for the full story.

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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