EPA Environmental Finance Center Grants

Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) are funded by grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide environmental-finance expertise and outreach to states, tribes, local governments, and the private sector. The EFCs work with these entities to help them fund, finance, and manage the growing costs of environmental protection and compliance. The EFCs provide finance-related training, education, and analytical studies to help state and communities develop solutions for paying for initiative and programs required to meet environmental standards set by federal laws such as the Clean Water Act. Assistance under this program through EFC grants is available to public and private non-profit universities and colleges and to nonprofit organizations.

In FY 2014, eight university-based EFCs worked with state, tribal, and local governments as well as the private sector on a wide-range of innovative environmental-finance projects, including the following:

The New England EFC at the University of Southern Maine assisted coastal communities by developing coastal wetlands conservation strategies using the Marsh Adaptation Strategy Tool, which estimates the ecological and economic benefits of coastal wetlands and the effects of sea level rise.

The Syracuse University EFC facilitated and hosted the first National Green Infrastructure Summit of EPA green infrastructure model and partner communities to showcase and share useful information with communities across the country and to help accelerate the adoption of green infrastructure solutions.

The University of Maryland EFC worked with local governments to integrate green infrastructure and stormwater compliance into existing community-based open space plans and priorities, developed partnerships with local and regional land conservation groups to reduce financial burdens, and identified additional federal, state and local funding opportunities to leverage existing local government funds.

A central goal of the EFCs is to create sustainable systems (systems that have the financial, technical, and institutional resources and capabilities) for complying with environmental requirements and implement best-environmental practices over the long term. EFCs focus on helping smaller parties find ways to obtain financing for their environmental protection responsibilities.

 

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