Opportunity number
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program
Due date
April 10, 2023
Community Development COVID-19 Economic Development Education & Workforce Healthcare Innovation Workforce Development
Project funding
Up to $500,000
Program funding
Funding size
Below $1M

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program

RFP Summary provided by the agency

EPA is issuing this solicitation to request applications for projects supporting community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) in their efforts to collaborate and partner with other stakeholders (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, academia, etc.) to develop solutions that will significantly address environmental and/or public health issue(s) in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks. These projects will help transform disadvantaged and underserved communities into healthy, thriving communities capable of addressing the environmental and public health challenges they have historically faced, as well as current and future challenges.

Applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity must address one of the following five broad categories:

  • community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, and investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure and workforce development that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.
  • mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events.
  • climate resiliency and adaptation.
  • reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution.
  • facilitating engagement of marginalized communities in Local, State and Federal public processes, such as advisory groups, workshops, and rulemakings.

All proposed projects should include activities designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to understand the local environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level.

  • Air quality & asthma
  • Water quality and sampling
  • Food access to reduce vehicle travel and fuel emissions
  • Stormwater issues and green infrastructure
  • Lead contamination
  • Pesticides and other toxic substances
  • Healthy homes
  • Illegal dumping
  • Emergency preparedness and disaster resiliency
  • Environmental job training
  • Youth development relating to Environmental Justice

For this competition, EPA will give special consideration to applications that focus on the following program priority:

  • Projects addressing Climate Change, Disaster Resiliency, and/or Emergency Preparedness – The effects of climate change and extreme weather events tend to adversely impact the most vulnerable communities and populations disproportionately.
  • Rural areas – EPA will give special consideration to high-ranking proposals to be performed in rural areas as defined by the program. Rural areas, for the purposes of this competition, are defined as one of the following:
    1. Local areas with populations of 50,000 or less that have limited access to public or private resources commonly found in metropolitan areas
    2. Community Network areas selected by the Rural Partners Network (See rural.gov for a complete list of communities)
    3. Coal and Energy Communities (See energycommunities.gov for a complete list of communities) Applicants claiming rural
  • Health Impact Assessment (HIA) – HIA is a “practice that aims to protect and promote health and to reduce inequities in health during a decision-making process. EPA may give special consideration to HIA projects that seek to determine the potential effects of a proposed environmental decision on the health of underserved and vulnerable communities and the distribution of those effects within the communities.

Examples of EJCPS projects.

  • Cleanup of nonhazardous trash (e.g., scrap tires, construction debris) in underserved communities, especially where illegal dumping is an ongoing concern.
  • Reduction of lead in underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Eligible activities include but are not limited to blood lead level (BLL) testing, surveillance, and linkages to service providers who can provide lead remediation services; Restoration, Repair and Paint (RRP) projects at schools and daycare facilities to remove lead-based paint; and paving lead-contaminated dirt in alleys and other public spaces.
  • Development of Citizen Science Monitoring programs to address various environmental contamination issues including water quality. Programs should provide support for communities to not only participate but take ownership over the data collected and collaboratively develop solutions.
  • Planning and development of heat island mitigation strategies in underserved communities. Eligible projects include but are not limited to installation of cool roofs and walls, green roofs, cool pavements, permeable pavers and other green infrastructure measures, and urban forestry initiatives, and extreme heat-related activities within local government departments (e.g., public health, climate, parks, emergency management)

Additional Links:

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Social, Science and Technology and other Research and Development

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Apply on grants.gov

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

  • a community-based nonprofit organization (CBO); or
  • a partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations *

* A partnership must be documented with a signed Letter of Commitment from the community-based nonprofit organization detailing the parameters of the partnership, as well as the role and responsibilities of the partnering community-based organizations.

Webinar Information

February 2, 2023
6:00 – 7:30 pm Eastern

Additional assistance webinars and calls will be scheduled. Details will be posted here and sent out by the EPA-EJ Listserv and the EPA Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights Twitter account.

Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:


Shelby County Office of Sustainability and Resilience
Year: 2020
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001(a) and the Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442(c)(3)

To support safer homes for Memphians while addressing equity and at-home health risks during a global pandemic, this project is advancing the shared aims of a multisector network that has worked together since 2014 on healthy homes, environmental justice, and racial equity initiatives in Memphis communities with high rates of childhood lead poisoning. The project will purposefully bring into leadership roles community organizations and residents of affected communities. Activities include: 1) Adaptation of the Black Millennials for Flint app for the Memphis market to identify potential lead-based paint, lead in water, and other home hazards. The app allows users to access community resources to address hazards, make self-referrals and track agency responses. 2) Assessment of environmental, structural, behavioral and COVID-19 related hazards in high-risk homes referred by partner organizations to the Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) program. Community residents, trained as MHEs to identify potential hazards and provide education, recommendations and supplies to reduce these hazards, will make referrals to Green & Healthy Homes Initiative for triage to agencies to reduce lead and other health/safety hazards in the home. 3) Outreach, education, and advocacy will be led by a multi-sector Advocacy Council composed of residents representing ZIP codes of focus and other partners. This group will convene to advocate, develop, and advance policies and legislation to reduce and remove lead hazards, while honoring and drawing upon both the experiences of minority communities and information gathered through the project.

Le’Azon Technology Institute
Year: 2001
Community Resiliency

The “Access to Information” project will provide North Greenwood residents with tools to understand environmental and health impacts of brownfields on their daily lives. The tools are: (1) develop a brownfields web site with Internet connections which will present difference perspectives on the environment, community and public health; (2) provide computers in three locations that will be accessible to the community; (3) create a tradition and electronic newsletter to get the information to the public; (4) coordinate with the City of Clearwater to sponsor workshops to inform and market the web site, newsletters and provide information on the brownfields community; (5) visit cities and towns with communities similar to North Greenwood to observe and learn about the methods they used to address environmental justice in their neighborhoods.

University of Tennessee
Year: 2002
Water Quality, Community Resiliency

Chattanooga Creek Hazardous Substance Monitoring Program. This project will involve the detection and assessment of hazardous substances in the environment and relates to evaluation of the effects on and risks to human health from hazardous substances. The project will: (1) Collect and analyze water samples from the Chattanooga Creek. (2) Interpret data and prepare reports. (3) Conduct two public meetings to present findings before the community and public officials. (4) Train university and high school students from the impacted community in research techniques to address similar problems in the future.

West Oakland Asthma Coalition Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement Performance of Tools for Schools
Year: 2003
Air Quality

The project will facilitate the evaluation of indoor air in three Oakland Public Schools, with a focus on asthma triggers. The Coalition will be working with the schools to implement pest and mold control. The Coalition will also conduct workshops to educate the families about asthma triggers and the reduction of the elements that cause asthma in the home.

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