The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received $3 million from the EPA to develop a Priority Climate Action Plan focused on reducing emissions in the Commonwealth’s industrial sector - and they are seeking input from the public.
Upon completing that plan, DEP will then be eligible to apply for up to $500 million to implement it.
DEP’s plan will focus on a statewide industrial decarbonization grant program, known as Reducing Industrial Sector Emissions in Pennsylvania (RISE PA), that will provide funding for industries to reduce carbon and benefit the health and safety of surrounding communities.
DEP is seeking funding for RISE PA from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
According to the 2023 Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, the industrial sector is the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting sector, accounting for just over 30 percent of Pennsylvania’s total GHG emissions.
DEP is also looking for input from industry, academia, community-based organizations, and other interested stakeholders on issues related to the design and implementation of RISE PA.
The department said in a release that it is specifically interested in receiving input on program design, size, scope, scale, and award structure as well as the potential outputs and metrics, including emissions reductions and community benefits.
If DEP receives CPRG funding for RISE PA, prospective projects would need to satisfy the following proposed criteria:
Benefit (and not negatively impact) low-income and disadvantaged communities
Achieve GHG emission reductions that are long-lasting and certain
Incorporate high labor standards, emphasize job quality, and support equitable workforce development
DEP is requesting responses to 10 questions to inform the development of program solicitation guidelines for RISE PA.
Those questions, and additional information about the Department’s general goals and objectives for RISE PA program development, can be found here.
But please be aware that the deadline to submit information is coming up fast: Those who wish to weigh in must do so by e-mail to RA-EP-CPRG@pa.gov no later than Monday, Jan. 22.