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The Biden administration today announced $14 million in grant funding available through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Job Training Program. 

The program prioritizes training and employment opportunities for residents in underserved and overburdened communities disproportionately impacted by environmental issues. 

Through the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO), funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA anticipates awarding approximately 20 grants nationwide at amounts up to $500,000 per award. Applications are due Aug. 2, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. (ET)

The NOFO announcement follows yesterday’s news of over $300 million awarded in brownfield grants, including $575,000 for the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) in Michigan. The BMIC is using these funds to address contamination at the Silver Dome Building, a former public works headquarters, and transform it into a community center. 

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“Far too many communities across America have suffered the harmful economic and health consequences of living near polluted brownfield sites,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “I've long believed that people who’ve borne the burden of pollution should be the first to see the benefits of new investment.”

That investment extends beyond cleanup monies to programs such as the job training grants, which have helped train over 21,700 people and place 16,200 in careers remediating land and improving environmental health and safety since 1998, according to Clifford Villa, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management.  

The program grants funding to non-profit and other eligible organizations to develop and deliver environmental job training programs. These programs target unemployed and underemployed residents, including low-income individuals living near brownfields. Participants gain the skills and certifications needed for full-time careers in brownfield assessment and cleanup, contributing to environmental improvements in their communities.

In a statement, the EPA announced it expects the longer application window (approximately 90 days instead of the standard 60 days) will give potential applicants more time to consider recent programmatic changes, including whether to form and apply as a Brownfields Job Training Grant Coalition. The deadline to apply for the Notice of Funding Opportunity is August 15, 2024.

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization will host an outreach webinar on June 6th, 2024, from 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT to explain the grant guidelines for interested applicants and to address commonly asked questions. Prior registration is not required.