EPA Announces $3 Million for Hawaii to Plan Innovative Climate Projects Across the State
Funds from EPA’s new Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act
SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will award $3 million for Hawai‘i to plan innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the state. Earlier this month, EPA announced the availability of the funds, representing the first funding going to states, local governments, Tribes, and territories from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. Later this year, EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in funding to implement projects and initiatives included in the plans. Hawaii will be eligible to receive that implementation funding because it has now opted in to receive the planning grant.
"This grant will enable Hawai'i to enhance its climate action planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution. Moreover, Hawai’i is now eligible to compete for greater federal funding next summer to implement its climate reduction strategies," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. "We are proud to support the state's ongoing efforts to reduce emissions, mitigate climate change impacts, advance environmental justice, and transition to a clean energy economy."
“Hawai‘i thanks the Biden administration, its congressional delegation, and the EPA for once again prioritizing and supporting innovative climate action,” said Hawai‘i Governor Josh Green, M.D. “This grant further empowers the State Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to address climate change head-on and protect and preserve our state’s natural resources.”
“The islands of the Pacific - some 25,000 including my home state of Hawai‘i - are on the front lines of climate change. The evidence is clear in rising sea levels inundating low-lying coastlines, increasing temperatures degrading coral reefs, and storms increasing in intensity, among other devastating impacts,” said Congressman Ed Case (HI-01). “I joined a majority of my colleagues last year in passing the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, which included the largest investment ever for our country in the battle against climate change. The Act provided for these grants from the EPA, which will help build on climate action plans as well as provide an economic boost to jurisdictions across our country.”
“This Climate Pollution Reduction Grant comes at a crucial time for Hawaiʻi. We find ourselves on the frontlines of climate change, seeing the impact of rising seas on our roads and beaches and changing weather patterns turning what normally would have been a disaster declaration into just another bad week,” said Congresswoman Jill Tokuda (HI-02). “This federal funding is desperately needed to help Hawaiʻi navigate the climate emergency and invest in strategies that will both reduce pollution and create good-paying jobs throughout Hawaiʻi. I applaud President Biden for implementing these critical investments from the Inflation Reduction Act.”
Hawai‘i is among the 50 states that – along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico -- are eligible to receive $3 million in grant funds. The state will use the funds to advance its existing climate action planning. The Hawai‘i Department of Health has established the Hawaiʻi Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program to combat the threat of climate change and sea level rise. The program utilizes the Air Pollution Control Permit process of the Clean Air Branch to regulate GHG emissions statewide. The Hawai’i GHG program works with other Federal and Hawaii State programs to mitigate GHGs. Through the State’s Hawai’i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, and its partners like the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Taskforce, Hawai’i aims to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and carbon neutrality by 2045.
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes historic funding to combat climate change while creating good-paying jobs and advancing environmental justice. Today’s announcement builds on $550 million previously announced for EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program and $100 million announced earlier this year for environmental justice grants to support underserved and overburdened communities. Additionally, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country.
About the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program
The CPRG planning grants will support states, territories, Tribes, municipalities, and air agencies in creating comprehensive, innovative strategies for reducing pollution and ensuring that investments maximize benefits, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities. These climate plans will include the following:
- Greenhouse gas emissions inventories;
- Emissions projections and reduction targets;
- Economic, health, and social benefits, including to low-income and disadvantaged communities;
- Plans to leverage other sources of federal funding, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act;
- Workforce needs to support decarbonization and a clean energy economy; and
- Future government staffing and budget needs.
This funding for climate planning will be followed later this year by $4.6 billion that will support the expeditious implementation of investment-ready policies created by the CPRG planning grants, programs, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term. Through the CPRG program, EPA will support the development and deployment of technologies and solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution and transition America to a clean energy economy that benefits all Americans.
By summer 2023, EPA Regional Offices expect to award and administer the funding agreements.
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