Environmental Protection Agency: Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding to support community-based organizations in their efforts to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, and academia) as they develop community-driven solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for underserved communities. Applying organizations should have a direct connection to the underserved community impacted by the environmental harms and risks. Projects must demonstrate use of the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model to support their collaborative efforts during the project period. The long-term goals of the EJCPS Program are to help build the capacity of communities with environmental justice concerns and to create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environments in the future.

Relevant definitions are below.
* Underserved community refers to a community with environmental justice concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including people of color, low income, rural, tribal, indigenous, and homeless populations.
* Collaborative problem-solving is defined as an effort to bring together groups and resources (e.g., information, labor, money) by three or more stakeholders to solve a set of problems that any single entity cannot solve individually. To provide a systematic approach towards collaborative problem-solving, the EPA developed a Collaborative Problem-Solving Model (see solicitation for details).

The EJCPS program is giving special consideration to applications that focus on the following program priorities:

1) Impacts of COVID-19. EPA may give special consideration to projects that address the impacts that the current COVID-19 pandemic has on underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Applicants may use funding to conduct public education, training, outreach, investigations and/or develop plans and programs to specifically work on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on EJ communities. Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative plans and processes to conduct effective outreach to underserved communities in the midst of social-distancing and local stay-at-home orders, especially in places where internet access may not be readily available to all residents. To qualify for this special consideration, applications must address the impacts of COVID-19 through eligible activities (see below.) Examples of eligible activities include (but are not limited to):
* Sharing information related to EPA-approved disinfectants to combat COVID-19 (List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2; see: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2)
* Addressing underserved residents’ increased exposure to in-home air or water pollutants and healthy housing issues as an unintended consequence of local stay-at-home orders
* Training of community health workers as community educators for environmental justice communities

2) Projects addressing climate, disaster resiliency, and/or emergency preparedness. The effects of climate change and extreme weather events tend to adversely impact the most vulnerable communities and populations disproportionately. Therefore, EPA may give special consideration to projects that address the needs of underserved and vulnerable communities that have been adversely impacted or are likely to be adversely impacted by natural disasters, including, but not limited to, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and future pandemics.

3) New applicants and grantees. High ranking applicants who have never received an EPA EJCPS award may receive additional consideration during the selection process in order to broaden the universe of EJCPS grantees.

Projects must include activities related to at least one of the following federal environmental statutes.

1. Clean Air Act: Conduct research, investigations, experiments, demonstration projects, surveys, and studies (including monitoring) related to the causes, effects (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention, and control of air pollution.
2. Clean Water Act: Conduct and promote the coordination of research, investigations, training, demonstration projects, surveys, and studies (including
monitoring) relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.
3. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act: Conduct research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstration projects, and studies on pesticides.
4. Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act: Conduct research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstration projects, surveys, and studies relating to the minimizing or ending of ocean dumping of hazardous materials and the development of alternatives to ocean dumping.
5. Safe Drinking Water Act: Develop and expand the capability to carry out a program (that may combine training, education, and employment) for occupations relating to the public health aspects of providing safe drinking water.
6. Solid Waste Disposal Act: Conduct and promote the coordination of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstration projects, surveys, public education programs, and studies relating to solid waste (e.g., health and welfare effects of exposure to materials present in solid waste and methods to eliminate such effects).
7. Toxic Substances Control Act: Conduct research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstration projects, and studies on toxic substances.

Amount: $3,200,000 is available to make up to 20 awards of approximately $160,000 each within the 10 EPA regions. Awards are for two-year project periods.

Eligibility: Eligible entities include: Nonprofit organizations including, but not limited to, environmental justice networks, faith based organizations, and those affiliated with religious institutions; tribal governments; and tribal organizations.

Note: The EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Program (EJCPS) is a separate solicitation that is currently open. EJCPS funding is designed for organizations that are more established and familiar with federal grants, while EJSG funding is designed for organizations that are: 1) just starting out, 2) have smaller staffs and operating budgets, and/or 3) have never received a federal grant before. Note that an applicant can receive a grant under only one of these programs. See either solicitation for a detailed chart that is helpful in determining which competition to apply for.

Resource Information
Funder Environmental Protection Agency
Eligibility Nonprofit Organization, Tribal Government, Tribal Organization
Resource URL: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=331837
Sector COVID-19 Emergency Response, Environment
Grant Amount $160,000
Deadline May 7, 2021