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Cooperative Agreements to USA Nonprofits to Address Environmental and Public Health Issues in Underserved Communities

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ)
CFDA Number: 66.306
Funding or PIN Number: EPA-R-OEJECR-OCS-23-01
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Important Dates
Deadline: 04/14/23 11:59 PM Eastern Time Save

Grant Description
Cooperative agreements to USA nonprofit organizations to address environmental and public health concerns in underserved communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take a month or more to complete. Special consideration will be given to projects addressing climate change, disaster resiliency, and/or emergency preparedness, those in rural areas, and those addressing the Health Impact Assessment (HIA).

EPA is issuing this solicitation to request applications for projects supporting community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) in their efforts to collaborate and partner with other stakeholders (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, academia, etc.) to develop solutions that will significantly address environmental and/or public health issue(s) in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks. These projects will help transform disadvantaged and underserved communities into healthy, thriving communities capable of addressing the environmental and public health challenges they have historically faced, as well as current and future challenges. 

Collaborative Problem-Solving Model - The program’s objective is to support projects that demonstrate the utility of the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model. For the purposes of the 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. Collaborative problem solving builds upon existing community understanding to establish and maintain partnerships capable of producing meaningful environmental and/or public health results. To provide a systematic approach towards collaborative problem-solving, OEJECR has developed a Collaborative Problem-Solving Model (Model). Such a Model is intended to assist vulnerable and underserved communities in developing proactive, strategic, and visionary approaches to address their environmental justice issues and achieve community health and sustainability. 

The EJCPS Program has funded a wide range of projects and project types over the years that address local environmental and public health concerns through collaborative partnerships. All proposed projects should include activities designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to understand the local environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. Types of projects the EJCPS program has funded in the past and would be eligible to be funded under this competition with CAA 138 IRA funding, include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Air quality & asthma
  • Water quality and sampling
  • Food access to reduce vehicle travel and fuel emissions
  • Stormwater issues and green infrastructure
  • Lead contamination
  • Pesticides and other toxic substances
  • Healthy homes
  • Illegal dumping
  • Emergency preparedness and disaster resiliency
  • Environmental job training
  • Youth development relating to Environmental Justice

All work plans should include strategies for addressing local environmental and public health issues, educating and empowering the community about those issues, and approaches to building consensus and setting community priorities. In addition, the work plan should demonstrate collaboration with other stakeholders (e.g., other community-based organizations, environmental groups, businesses, industry, federal, tribal, state and local governments, and academic institutions) in an effort to realize project goals and objectives and build project sustainability leading to ongoing efforts that address the local environmental justice issue(s).

For this competition, EPA will give special consideration to applications that focus on the following program priority: 

  • Projects addressing Climate Change, Disaster Resiliency, and/or Emergency Preparedness
  • Rural areas
  • Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

More information about the special considerations can be found at

Eligible Project Categories and Activities can be found at


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
In accordance with CFDA 66.306 (as it will be updated to be consistent with this announcement), an eligible applicant must be one of the following entities:
- A community-based nonprofit organization; or
- A partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations

The following entities are INELIGIBLE to receive an award, but applicants are encouraged to partner with these organizations, as appropriate (see Contracts and Subawards solicitation clause):
- Tribes and tribal governments
- US Territories
- Freely associated states
- International Organizations
- Public and Nonprofit Institutions of Higher Education;
- For-profit colleges, universities and trade schools,
- Hospitals;
- State and local governments and their agencies and instrumentalities;
- Quasi-governmental entities (e.g., water districts, utilities).

The following are examples of ineligible activities under the awards to be made from this RFA:
- Lobbying as restricted in 2 CFR 200.450.
- Legal advice, services, or representation
- Travel for federal employees
- Projects or programs that are not eligible for funding under section 138(b)(2) of the Clean Air Act or the environmental justice implementation and training grant authority in EPA’s Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriation Act, Public Law 117-103.

Pre-Proposal Conference
January 24, 2023; 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET – Zoom Webinar Format - Applicants may ask general questions about this RFA. Registration is NOT required.
Join at

February 2, 2023; 6:00pm - 7:30pm ET – Zoom Webinar Format - Applicants may ask general questions about this RFA.
Visit the following link for log-in information:

Pre-Application Information
- January 10, 2023: EJCPS competition announced. Open competition period begins.
- January 24, 2023 - February 2, 2023: Webinars and Pre-application Assistance Calls
- April 14, 2023: Open competition closes. Applications must be submitted through by 11:59 p.m. (ET), April 14, 2023. Applications received after this date will not be reviewed.
- April - May 2023: EPA will review applications for Threshold Eligibility Criteria (Section III). Ineligible applicants will be notified via email with details regarding ineligibility. Notification to ineligible applicants will be sent via email to the contact identified on the submitted SF-424 form providing brief explanations on the reason(s) for ineligibility. Ineligible applicants may request a debriefing within 15 days of receipt of the correspondence.
- June - August 2023: EPA review panel(s) review, score, and rank eligible applications. EPA will make the final selections for awards. All applicants will be notified of the selection results by mail and/or email.
- September 2023: Headquarters/Regional offices will request any additional application documentation from selected applicants. Awards will be made by headquarters and/or regional grant offices as determined to be appropriate.
- October 2023: OEJECR will release a national announcement for the EJCPS awardees

Applications submitted after the submission deadline will be considered late and deemed ineligible without further consideration unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that it was late due to EPA mishandling or because of technical problems associated with Applications submitted outside of will be deemed ineligible without further consideration unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that it was due to EPA mishandling or technical problems associated with or (System for Award Management) Registration Instructions Organizations applying to this funding opportunity must have an active registration. If you have never done business with the Federal Government, you will need to register your organization in Registration Instructions: Once your account is active, you must register in

An applicant’s failure to timely submit their application through because they did not timely or properly register in or will not be considered an acceptable reason to consider a submission outside of Applicants should confirm receipt of their application with Jacob Burney, as soon as possible after submission —failure to do so may result in your application not being reviewed.

Register in or as soon as possible. Finalizing these registrations could take a month or more. You do not want a late registration to prevent you from being able to properly submit your application through

View this opportunity on

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
Expected Number of Awards: 83

Estimated Size of Grant
The total estimated funding expected for all awards under this solicitation is approximately $30,000,000, broken down as follows:
- $25,000,000 for CBOs proposing projects for up to $500,000 each. Approximately 50 awards for up $500,000 each are anticipated under this track.
- $5,000,000 for qualifying small CBOs with 5 or fewer full-time employees proposing projects for up to $150,000 each. (Small Community-based Nonprofit Set Aside Track). Approximately 33 awards for up to $150,000 each are anticipated under this track.

Term of Contract
Applicants should plan for an estimated project period start date of October 1, 2023.

Contact Information
For more information, please email Jacob Burney (

- Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights:,
- Region 1
- Region 2
- Region 3
- Region 4
- Region 5
- Region 6
- Region 7
- Region 8
- Region 9
- Region 10

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