EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Grant Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding to support community-based organizations to develop and implement solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for underserved communities. Cooperative agreements will be awarded to collaborative projects that partner with local stakeholder groups such as local businesses and industry, local government, medical providers, and academia.

For the 2018 opportunity, the EJCPS program will give special consideration to high ranking proposals to be performed in rural areas. Many of the projects funded through this program in the past have also served to implement climate adaptation solutions. Ten awards will be made (one award per EPA region) in amounts of up to $120,000 per award for a two-year project period. Proposal packages were due as of February 16, 2018. Funded assistance agreements will have a two-year project period, and EPA states that applicants should plan for projects to start September 1, 2018.

Eligible projects must use the EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model to support their collaborative efforts during the project period. Collaborative problem-solving, in terms of this model, will build upon existing community precedents to establish partnerships that can produce significant environmental and/or public health benefits.

For the purposes of this EJCPS Program:

  • 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;
  • the term “underserved community” refers to a community with environmental justice concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including minority, low income, rural, tribal, and indigenous populations;
  • and rural areas are defined as local areas with populations of 50,000 or less that have limited access to public or private resources commonly found in metropolitan areas.

Some projects funded through this grant program in 2014 and 2016 directly support climate adaptation and resiliency along with environmental justice, such as:

  • Buffalo River Watershed Environmental Stewardship Worker-Training and Partnership Development (Providence, Rhode Island): Green Infrastructure implementation through green infrastructure worker development
  • Viet Village Housing Urban Water Management Collaboration (New Orleans, Louisiana): Stormwater management though riparian buffer development and installation
  • Tolani Lake Enterprise (Navajo Nation, Northeast AZ): Action plan to address chronic drought and climate change impacts on clean water supply


Publication Date: December 2017

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