Today, the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met with energy community leaders and members during a virtual workshop focused on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding relevant to energy communities.
The webinar, titled “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Energy Communities”, explored how energy communities can access infrastructure dollars and programs, including $50 billion to improve our nation’s water infrastructure and $5.4 billion to clean up legacy pollution at Superfund and Brownfields sites. These EPA-specific infrastructure funds help accelerate support to local communities and ensure all Americans have access to a clean energy future.
Attendees heard from Energy Communities IWG Executive Director Dr. Brian Anderson and EPA officials, including Vicki Arroyo, Associate Administrator of the Office of Policy; Carlton Waterhouse, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Land and Emergency Management; and Jonathan Nelson, Senior Adviser for Technical Assistance and Community Outreach in the Office of Water. Speakers discussed how rural communities can access technical assistance to advance local projects and highlighted case studies that illustrate how funds can help economically diversify and revitalize energy communities.
“More than six months after the signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we remain energized by the opportunities it provides communities with economies and workforces historically reliant on fossil fuel energy production. The two EPA investments highlighted today are critical to supporting energy community transitions and offering much-needed assistance many communities need for environmental cleanup and infrastructure improvements,” said Anderson.
The BIL, which was signed into law in late 2021, outlines more than $100 billion in currently open and planned funding announcements relevant to energy communities. These opportunities are available across federal agencies and support projects to install broadband internet, clean up abandoned mine lands and orphaned oil and gas wells, expand domestic production of critical minerals, deliver clean water, investing in transportation infrastructure, and more.
Many BIL investments for energy communities are already accepting applications and many more are expected to be announced in the coming weeks and months. Interested applicants can access BIL funding on the IWG’s online clearinghouse, which centralizes funding opportunities from across the federal government in an easy-to-navigate location that is frequently updated to keep local leaders abreast of relevant funding for their communities.
Established by an Executive Order during President Biden’s first week in office, the IWG is pursuing a whole-of-government approach to create good-paying union jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation and support energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities across the country as the U.S. prepares to undergo a historic energy evolution to a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.