EPA Grant Writing Tips

October 4, 2019 Brownfields, EPA, Funding, Grants Brian Nowakowski

Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency provides grants to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, or pollutants. The grant solicitations are expected to be announced any day now*. Below are some helpful tips and things to keep in mind as you prepare to submit an application.

These grants are competitive. Typically, less than one-third of applications are ultimately successful. The difference between a winning proposal can be one (1!) point (trust us, you don’t want that).

Your first steps should be:

  • Pass any resolutions needed to apply
  • Register with and make sure your registration is up to date
  • Do community outreach as required
  • Identify areas in need of assessment and sites in need of remediation
  • Establish your team for pulling together the application
  • Participate in EPA webinars and regional workshops

Here are some tips for a successful grant application:

  • Set your project apart. Stress what makes your community and project different from all the others through a consistent story throughout the application. Be specific. Support the thesis statement of your application, cut all superfluous details, you don’t have the space.
  • Context. Highlight planning documents and community planning efforts and what other sources of funding will be brought to the project. How you are getting to ribbon-cutting. Discuss any additional projects and/or funds and jobs that will be generated from your project.
  • Build a realistic and detailed budget. The budget allows you to demonstrate that you have a substantial and organized project that makes sense. Provide a detailed cost breakdown for each task. Ensure that the costs are consistent with the project’s narrative and community need.
  • Eligibility. The 2018 BUILD Act expanded the eligibility requirements for applicants and sites, following the guidelines on this step is critical to a successful application. There might be sites that were previously ineligible.

* As soon as the FY20 grants are announced, we will post them on our website and LinkedIn page, so make sure you follow us.

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