EPA Brownfields Grant Tips

October 1, 2016 Brownfields, EPA, Funding, News Brian Nowakowski

Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides grants to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances. These grants are competitive; only about one-third of applications funded. Funding amounts vary by type of grant, this fall it is expected that the following grants will be available:

  • Assessment Grants: up to $200,000 per contaminant category.
  • Cleanup Grants: up to $200,000 per site, requiring a 20 percent funding match.

If you are planning to apply for an EPA grant, here are things you should do right away:

  • Pass any resolutions required by the applicant organization
  • Promptly register with
  • Contact supporters for commitment letters
  • Ensure that sites for site specific grants are eligible

Here are some tips for a successful grant application:

  1. Community Outreach. Understand the difference between involving the community and informing the community! Make sure you have a plan for actually involving them.
  2. Budget. The budget allows you to demonstrate that you have a cogent and organized project that makes sense. Specify which monies will be allocated to each task and provide a detailed cost breakdown per task. Tie the costs to the project’s goals, and ensure that the costs are consistent with the project’s narrative.
  3. Eligible Activities. Do not include tasks for activities that are ineligible uses of funds under EPA’s Assessment Grants such as land acquisition, building demolition, building or site preparation, or administrative and indirect costs.
  4. Tell a Consistent Story. Ensure that the community problems you identify are addressed by the tasks you lay out in the budget, and are captured in the benefits section at the end.
  5. Context. Talk about how the project will result in development that will meet a need in the community that has been identified in planning documents, and what other sources of funding will be brought to bear to complete the project to ribbon-cutting.
  6. Set your project apart. Remember that the reviewers won’t be familiar with your community, and that they will be reviewing many applications. Stress what makes your community and your project different from all the others in a relatable way.

BRS, Inc. has an 84% award rate for EPA Brownfields Grant applications submitted; securing over $30 million in funding for our clients. Should you be interested in having BRS, Inc. assist you with preparing your grant proposals, please feel free to contact us.

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