The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday offered $250 million to states, local governments, tribes and territories to develop plans or augment programs for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The funding is the first phase of the $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program established by the Inflation Reduction Act.
A grant from the program will allow New Jersey to explore ways of accelerating its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2030, Shawn LaTourette, New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection, said during a media briefing Tuesday.
The 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are eligible for up to $3 million in climate plan funding and the largest 67 metropolitan areas can receive $1 million each, EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe said. Tribes and territories are eligible for $500,000 each.
The program included planning grant funding at the metropolitan area level to encourage groups of cities, counties and other local leaders to collaborate on regional plans, according to the EPA.
States must submit a notice of intent to participate by March 31 and metropolitan areas have an April 28 deadline.
The EPA expects to award the grants this summer. The agency plans to launch later this year a competitive process for $4.6 billion in funding to put in place “investment-ready” policies and initiatives included in the plans, according to McCabe.
According to the EPA, the climate plans will include: greenhouse gas emissions inventories; emissions projections and reduction targets; economic, health, and social benefits, including to low-income and disadvantaged communities; plans to use other sources of federal funding including the bipartisan Infrastructure law and Inflation Reduction Act; workforce needs to support decarbonization and a clean energy economy; and future government staffing and budget needs.