Note: This blog post was updated on Nov. 29 to reflect updates in South Carolina, Tennessee, and past event dates in North Carolina.
States around the Southeast are currently seeking public input on action plans for how to reduce climate pollution. The action plans are being led by state government agencies, funded by federal grants provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This planning program is called the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program and it is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting programs in the IRA.
The CPRG program is split into two phases: during the first phase, state and local government agencies undertake studies to identify the major sources of climate pollution within their jurisdictions and identify highest-priority actions to reduce emissions. Then the second phase consists of a competitive grant program in which states and local governments can apply for money to carry out the plans they developed in the first phase.
Nearly every state in the Southeast along with 13 local government agencies received grants from the federal government for the planning process to identify the biggest opportunities to cut climate pollution and create action plans. These plans must be written by March 2024, which means many of the agencies are now taking public input to help shape their plans.
Three state agencies currently have active calls for public input: North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. If you are a resident of these states, please follow the directions below and share your thoughts with the agencies.
Tennessee has already concluded its call for public input. Also, tune back into this blog post later since we will share public input opportunities at the local government level as we are made aware of them.
North Carolina’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant is being led by the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). DEQ is hosting public information sessions about the state’s CPRG program in Morganton on Dec. 5, and online virtual sessions on Dec. 7 and (tentatively) Jan. 18. Please find details for these meetings on the DEQ CPRG webpage here. DEQ is also accepting comments and suggestions on how to best implement CPRG programs via email to [email protected].
Georgia’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant is being led by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). EPD currently has a survey and a request for information that are open for public participation. Check out the EPD CPRG webpage here and please fill out the survey and/or request for information!
South Carolina’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant is being conducted through the Palmetto Air Quality Collaborative (PAQC), led by the SC Office of Resilience (SCOR). PAQC is currently collecting public input via the survey here, with responses due by December 22. The survey instructions say that it should take about 15 minutes to complete and most questions are optional. Indidivuals can also sign up to serve on a PAQC Action Team, described here.
Tennessee’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant is being led by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). TDEC’s public comment period has concluded.
Our communities’ abilities to effectively take action to stop harmful pollution must be informed by an understanding of where the biggest opportunities are for meaningful interventions. The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program provides an opportunity for our state and local governments to develop clearer pictures of how to effectively address one of the greatest issues of our generation, and to build solid foundations for action. Please take a few minutes of your time and add your thoughts today to the states’ plans. And if you do, we’d love to see what you write! Share your comments with SACE by emailing me at [email protected]!