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 grants.gov and make sure your sam.gov 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.