April 20, 2022
Dear Energy Community Supporter,
I’m happy to share with you the mid-April edition of the Energy Communities IWG newsletter. As you read on, you’ll find funding opportunities, upcoming events and additional resources for energy community leaders. Don’t forget to follow the IWG on social media for real-time updates and important information.
Repurposing Fossil Energy Assets Webinar
The IWG and United States Energy Association (USEA) hosted a half-day, virtual workshop March 30 exploring the benefits of repurposing fossil energy assets, including closed coal mines, coal power plants and orphaned oil and gas wells, to spur economic revitalization in energy communities. “Repurposing Fossil Energy Assets” featured local voices who discussed projects designed to transform fossil energy infrastructure. The webinar also included a panel of federal officials who outlined relevant funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and ongoing appropriations.
Three breakout sessions closed out the afternoon, each with a different topic — coal mines, power plants, or wells and petroleum assets — that offered attendees an opportunity to discuss the topics in more detail with experts.
Resources from the webinar can be found on the IWG past events page. An article summarizing the workshop can be found in the IWG newsroom.
The Casper Star Tribune also covered the event.
Since 1992, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) each year presents the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Awards to multiple AML projects across the nation. In 2021, the national award winner was the DeRonde Site in Southeast Iowa. This 70-acre former mine land was filled with industrial waste and debris that polluted and clogged streams, making it unhealthy for people and wildlife. Using an OSMRE grant, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship got to work clearing waste and polluted water, installing water intakes and seeding the soil to grow anew.
After overcoming several challenges along the way, the DeRonde site was transformed into a wetland area to benefit local wildlife, including bald eagles nesting at the site. Watch this video to learn more about this successful AML reclamation project.
New Funding Opportunities
- OSMRE Accepting Nominations for 2022 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is now accepting nomination for its annual Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards. Learn more and submit your nomination.
- U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $2.6 Million in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. This American Rescue Plan and Coal Communities Commitment grant to construct a new 24,000-square-foot multi-tenant building will support manufacturing job growth and economic diversification in the region. Read more in this EDA press release.
- U.S. Department of Commerce Awards Nearly $1.2 Million to Tribes to Expand Internet Access. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded grants to four Tribal communities to expand internet access. Broadband expansion can help these areas connect to more business and economic opportunities. More here.
Upcoming Funding Deadlines
The following funding opportunities have upcoming application deadlines in the next four weeks and can all be found on the IWG’s online clearinghouse.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy Pilot Program Letter of Intent Due April 19
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Community Development Initiative Grants Applications Due April 19
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rural Communities Opioid Response Program — Behavioral Health Care Support Closes April 19
- U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Building America Grant Applications Due April 25
- U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Technical Assistance for Energy and Mineral Development Program Application Deadline Is April 27
- U.S. Department of the Interior BIA Tribal Energy Development Capacity Grant Applications Due April 27
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drivers and Environmental Impacts of Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities Request for Applications (RFA) Due April 28
- Appalachian Regional Commission Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Final Applications Due April 29
- U.S. Department of Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Capital Programs Applications from Tribal Governments Due May 11
Events & Additional Resources
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Workforce Innovation Network to Host Virtual Workshops. This two-part virtual workshop, taking place April 21 and April 28, will explore how to effectively apply for and manage federal grants. Register today.
- Technical Assistance Webinars from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The fourth in a series of NTIA webinars designed to help applicants understand the broadband programs available through the BIL and prepare them for submitting high-quality applications is taking place April 27. Register here.
- Regional Carbon Management Applicant Education Workshops. The United States Energy Association and the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management held two workshops — one virtual and one in Columbus, Ohio — for BIL funding applicants interested in developing large-scale carbon management-related projects. Next up: New Orleans April 19 and Salt Lake City April 26.
On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support America’s energy communities. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others in your network who may benefit.
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