The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting applications for $2 billion in grants to support community-driven projects promoting environmental and climate justice. The new Community Change Grants program will support clean energy and resilience projects that help disadvantaged communities better address environmental challenges.

EPA issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity Nov. 21 for the grants. The agency says it will review applications on a rolling basis for one year.

Projects selected for grants will address either climate resiliency and adaptation; mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions and wildfires; pollution monitoring, prevention and remediation; low- and zero-emission technologies and related infrastructure; workforce development supporting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; reducing indoor air pollution or facilitating the engagement of disadvantaged communities in public processes.

“EPA is investing unprecedented resources in communities that have too long been overlooked and under-served,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. 

The funding was allocated under last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. EPA has two tracks for the funding to support projects of different sizes. The bulk of the $2 billion is planned to support about 150 projects, with grants each valued at about $10 million to $20 million. EPA also has $200 million available for applicants that will be awarded for technical assistance efforts. 

Regan told reporters during a Nov. 21 press briefing that many of the specifics of how the program will work resulted from feedback from the kinds of communities this program aims to assist. 

“At EPA, it’s our privilege and greatest responsibility to ensure that all people in this country, no matter the color of their skin, the community they live in or how much money they have in their pockets, have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and the opportunity to live a healthy life,” Regan said.