US EPA seeks grant applications for US$100M available to support development, standardization, transparency, reporting criteria for Environmental Product Declarations that will expand market access to lower carbon construction materials

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WASHINGTON , September 28, 2023 (press release) –

EPA seeking grant applications to support the development, standardization, transparency, and reporting criteria for Environmental Product Declarations that will expand market access to lower carbon construction materials

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $100 million in grants to support efforts to report and reduce climate pollution linked to the manufacturing of construction materials and products, which account for 11% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. The funding through EPA’s new Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Construction Materials program will help manufacturers disclose environmental impacts across the life of a product and inform institutional purchasers who are prioritizing lower embodied carbon construction materials. Thanks to President Biden's Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, the new program—created by the Inflation Reduction Act—supports the resurgence of sustainable American manufacturing.

 

“In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in construction materials and products, we must be able track and understand where they are,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff.“These new grants through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will help ensure manufacturers have access to the assistance they need to disclose and reduce emissions, thereby supporting thriving and healthy communities across America.” 

 

“Today’s funding announcement from EPA is like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche of industrial sector emissions reductions in the US,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY). “By shining a light on leading low and no carbon products, providing direct incentives to deeply decarbonize industrial facilities, and creating a market for these products, the IRA is driving down emissions in one of the hardest to abate sectors while supporting US jobs and industry. It’s just the latest example of how the Inflation Reduction Act is reducing carbon emissions and helping us meet our climate goals while creating good paying jobs here in America.”

 

“As we work to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, we should be using materials and products produced in the most sustainable way possible, which more often than not are American-made,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper (DE), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Thanks to our investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA is helping our nation’s companies to better understand and communicate the environmental impacts of their products. This will create new markets for American manufacturers making cleaner products and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our economy.”

 

This new grant program—Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Construction Materials and Products—will help businesses develop robust Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) which disclose environmental impacts across the life of a product. Embodied greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—also called embodied carbon—refers to the amount of GHG emissions associated with the extraction, production, transport, and manufacturing stages of a product's life. EPDs facilitate the reliable tracking of emissions associated with construction materials and products to inform procurement decisions. 

 

EPA will provide grants to businesses that manufacture, remanufacture, and refurbish construction materials and products for developing and verifying EPDs, and to states, Tribes, and nonprofit organizations that will support such businesses. The EPDs generated through this grant program will make it easier for state and local governments—and other institutional buyers—to ensure the construction projects they fund are using low carbon construction materials.

 

EPA is working with other federal agencies as part of a broader initiative funded by the Inflation Reduction Act to address the embodied carbon of construction materials with the goal of substantially lowering the levels of embodied carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. The Inflation Reduction Act also appropriated more than $2 billion to the General Services Administration to use low embodied carbon materials in the construction and renovation of federal buildings and $2 billion to the Federal Highway Administration to incentivize or reimburse the use of low embodied carbon construction materials in certain transportation projects.  

 

Billions of tons of concrete, asphalt, steel, glass, and other construction materials and products are required to build, maintain, and operate our country’s buildings and infrastructure. These new grants will support the historic investments made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to strengthen America’s infrastructure while advancing America's industrial capacity to supply the goods and materials of the future and growing good jobs for American workers.

 

Eligibility and Application Information

The deadline to apply to this grant competition is January 8, 2024. EPA requests the submittal of an optional Notice of Intent to apply by October 27, 2023, by sending an email to embodiedcarbon@epa.gov.

 

Eligible entities include:

• Businesses that manufacture, remanufacture, and refurbish construction materials and products, and 

• States, Tribes, and nonprofit organizations that will support such businesses. 

 

Under this program, EPA plans to award in Fiscal Year 2024 up to 40 grants and/or cooperative agreements, some which would enable funding and technical assistance to flow to hundreds of small businesses via subaward programs established by selected eligible applicants.

 

Funding amounts for individual grant and cooperative agreements are anticipated to be in the range of $250,000 to $10 million. In addition, EPA will consider subranges of grants in the amounts of $250,000 to $749,999; $750,000 to $4.99 million dollars; and $5 million to $10 million dollars.

 

EPA has published the Notice of Funding Opportunity for this grant competition on grants.gov. Earlier this month, EPA published an assistance listing detailing key parameter of the program, which can be viewed at Sam.gov. 

 

Informational Webinar

The grant program will host two webinars to provide information on this grant competition and the application process on November 2, 2023, from 2 – 3 pm ET and November 14, 2023, from 2 – 3 pm ET. Link to register for webinars. 

 

Tools and resources for prospective grantees, including webinar recordings, links and helpful templates, can be found on EPA’s webpage.

For further information: EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

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