Funding Opportunities for Environmental Justice Projects

ASLA 2022 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. Preparing the Ground: Restorative Justice on Portland’s Interstate 5, Portland, OR. ZGF Architects / image: ZGF Architects

This past year, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) created new funding opportunities for transportation and green infrastructure projects. ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) are working to share information to support landscape architects thinking about growing your practice in transportation. See below for a few ways to learn more about these new sources of funding.
– Jean Senechal Biggs, ASLA, Transportation Professional Practice Network (PPN) leader

Increase Access to Transit in Low-Income Neighborhoods

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced $20 million in competitive grants to help improve public transit in rural and urban areas experiencing long-term economic distress.

This grant is a part of the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program, which aims to build modern infrastructure and an equitable, climate-secure future. Specifically, the program supports increased transit access for environmental justice populations, community outreach and public engagement, and the transition to low- and no-emission vehicles and associated charging equipment.

For projects eligible under the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program, applicants should reference:

  • FTA Circular 8100-1D – Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants and
  • FTA Circular 9030.1E – Urbanized Area Formula Program: Program Guidance and Application Instructions.

The deadline to apply is March 10, 2023. 

Before applying, informational webinars will be held on the following dates:

Also coming up next week: a webinar on preparing for upcoming DOT discretionary grant opportunities. On Wednesday, February 8 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Eastern), staff from the U.S. Department of Transportation will be outlining resources created to help potential grant applicants navigate different funding opportunities.

This session will dig into some of the tools available on the DOT Navigator—the Department’s one stop shop for technical assistance, including the upcoming funding opportunity calendar, tools for identifying Federal disadvantaged community areas, and which programs provide non-Federal match flexibility. The webinar will also spotlight several funding opportunities at USDOT that are currently accepting applications to expand transportation opportunities to urban, rural, and Tribal communities.

Local governments, equity stakeholders, and others who may not have access to lobbyists or industry associations are encouraged to attend.

Empower Environmental Justice Organizations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting applications for its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program. This is an opportunity for landscape architects to engage community-led organizations in thoughtful and consultative designs for the built environment.

The EPA will award $30 million across 83 projects in 2023. In particular, EJCPS awards projects in stormwater management, green infrastructure, water and air quality, site remediation, and disaster resilience. The EPA will give special consideration to rural-based projects. These funds come from the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act.

The deadline to apply is April 10, 2023. 

Award-winning projects will be expected to begin around October 2023.

Find more information in the EPA announcement.

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