October 26, 2021
Dear Energy Community Supporter,
As the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities advances our work to spur economic revitalization, support energy workers and create good-paying jobs, we’re committed to communicating our progress and providing updates on available federal funding. Our goal is to make a positive impact and reach those communities who can most benefit from our important work, and I encourage you to share this information with others.
Funding Opportunities Reminders
- Economic Development Administration Coal Communities Commitment: The EDA is dedicating $100 million from its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million from its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities, as part of the organization’s Coal Communities Commitment. The Phase 1 deadline of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge is Oct. 19, 2021. Economic Adjustment Assistance applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.
- Department of Energy Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program): Through Communities LEAP, DOE will provide supportive services to low-income energy communities experiencing economic and environmental justice impacts from the country’s shift away from fossil fuel reliance. The application deadline is Dec. 17, 2021. Learn more here.
New Opportunities for Energy Communities
- United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grants: The USDA is now accepting applications to support economic development and create jobs for people in rural America. This funding, under the Rural Business Development Grant, is available for rural towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits and cooperatives, federally recognized tribes, and public institutions of higher education to support business opportunity and enterprise projects. Applications for grant funding are due by Feb. 28, 2022. Learn more here.
- Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Grant Program: Multiple solicitation notices for competitive and non-competitive funding opportunities offered by the EPA Brownfields Program are now available:
- FY 2022 Cleanup Grants due Dec. 1.
- FY 2022 Revolving Loan Fund Grants due Dec. 1.
- FY 2022 Assessment Grants due Dec. 1.
- FY 2022 Funding Guidance for State and Tribal Response Programs due Dec. 17.
- Economic Development Administration Makes Grants More Accessible for Tribal Communities: The EDA extends Tribal eligibility to include for-profit entities that are wholly owned by and established for the benefit of a Tribe. These new regulations will create greater opportunities for Native American communities to participate in EDA grant programs. Learn more here.
Funding Awarded to Energy Communities
- The Appalachian Regional Commission announced its largest POWER package to date, investing $46.4 million in 57 projects across 184 counties to support economic revitalization efforts in the region’s coal communities. Learn more.
- Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced $2.1 million from USDA to reforest abandoned mine lands in Appalachia by leveraging private capital and carbon market revenues. Learn more.
- The U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority, announced the award of more than $29 million in Work Opportunity for Rural Communities grants. Learn more.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $14.6 million to 20 community economic development corporations through the Community Economic Development program. Five of the funded projects serve coal, oil and gas, and/or power plant communities. Learn more.
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $272 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for 270,000 people living in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico. Learn more.
At the end of September, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese convened an IWG meeting, where they were joined by Cabinet members and senior leadership from across the federal government. They discussed the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to invest in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities, reviewed efforts to date and committed to future plans. Read the White House summary of this meeting and our fact sheet on IWG accomplishments and planned activities.
To date, IWG has hosted five virtual workshops on economic revitalization for energy communities in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, North Dakota and Arizona focusing on Navajo and Hopi communities. These workshops bring together senior officials across the federal government and local on-the-ground partners to provide federal resources to community leaders and members. Workshop recordings, presentation slides, agendas and additional resources can be found on our Past Events page.
Thank you for your continued interest and support of our efforts. On behalf of all IWG member agencies, I look forward to sharing future news of our progress and successes as we work together to support energy workers and their communities.
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