TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (September 8, 2022) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of the University of Alabama as a pollution prevention (P2) grant recipient made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $100 million program investment. These grants will allow states and Tribes to provide businesses with technical assistance to help them develop and adopt P2 practices to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing business and liability costs.
“The grant selections announced today and made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will reduce air and water pollution in communities in need,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Many of the grants selected support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to addressing environmental justice concerns in overburdened communities and the impacts of climate change.”
“Pollution prevention is an area where we can make great strides in protecting human health and the environment,” said Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “P2 has proven time and time again that it’s much cheaper to prevent pollution than to clean it up. By working with states and tribes, the grants these recipients receive from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will pay long-term dividends to communities in need across the Southeast.”
The P2 Program advances President Biden’s Justice 40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to underserved communities. State and Tribal programs awarded grants will not be required to provide matching funds, as is required by traditional P2 grants. The ability to waive the match requirement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in addition to the new National Emphasis Area (NEA) for businesses in Indian country, helped to broaden and diversify the applicant pool. Many grants selected will support implementing pollution prevention practices in Indian country.
The United States produces billions of pounds of pollution each year and spends billions of dollars per year controlling this pollution. Preventing pollution at the source, also known as P2 or source reduction, rather than managing waste after it is produced is an important part of advancing a sustainable economic and environmental infrastructure. P2 can lessen exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce financial costs for businesses, particularly costs associated with waste management, disposal and cleanup. These practices are essential for protecting health, improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities, and preserving natural resources like wetlands, groundwater sources, and other critical ecosystems.
Funding for the University of Alabama (UA) would provide pollution prevention (P2) engineering assessments of seafood processing plants with the UA team directly engaged with facility personnel to assess the economic impacts and cost savings from implementing P2 practices and identify barriers to adoption of P2. Notable activities and deliverables include a facility model for implementation of P2 measures across the seafood and catfish industries, stakeholder group engagement events, on-site technical assessments at facilities located in two identified EJ communities, virtual training tools, and best practices presentations at trade association meetings and conferences.
Selected and awarded grantees will document and share P2 best practices they identify and develop through these grants so that others can replicate the practices and outcomes. Each selected grantee will address at least one of the NEAs, which were established to focus resources to achieve measurable results and to create opportunities to share information among P2 grantees and businesses affiliated with similar NEAs. Each selected grantee will also develop at least one case study during the grant period on P2 practices that are new or not widely known or adopted, or where detailed information on the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers.
These grants are the first of five P2 grant programs over the next five years that will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA has announced two other new grant opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. One will encourage products, purchasing, and/or supply chains that are safer, more sustainable, and environmentally preferable and the other will encourage businesses that are working in, or working with, underserved and disadvantaged communities to adopt P2 practices. EPA also anticipates awarding traditional P2 grants administered by the agency for over 25 years later this year.
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. Grants supported with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will be fully funded at the time grants are awarded.
A full list of the entities in Region 4 selected to receive funding through the grants funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be found below.
Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.
List of Grantees
Georgia Institute of Technology
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Department for Environmental Protection
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
East Carolina University