Open Funding Opportunities for Reducing Diesel Emissions

2021 National DERA RFA

EPA anticipates awarding approximately $46 million in competitive grant funding under the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) National Grants Program. The program is soliciting applications nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions and exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.

Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 11:59  p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

Important Dates

ActivityDate
Request for Applications (RFA) OPEN

Thursday, January 14, 2021

 
Information Session Webinars
 
 
Tuesday, January 26, 2021; 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 863 530 573# 
 
Wednesday, Feburary 3, 2021; 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 609 539 899# 
 
Thursday, February 11, 2021; 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 451 189 144# 
 
 
Deadline for Submittal of Questions
Questions and Answers (PDF)(16 pp, 257 K,  January 14, 2021)
 

March 5, 2021 at 4 p.m. (ET)

Deadline for ApplicationsTuesday, March 16, 2021, at 11:59  p.m. (ET)
Notification of Selected ApplicantsApril-May, 2021
Funding of AwardsJune-October, 2021

For more information, please visit EPA’s Clean Diesel Page.

Southeast Alternative Fuel Deployment Partnership

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a grant to the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) to accelerate the deployment of commercially available alternative fuel fleet vehicles and infrastructure. To carry out this project, CTE has partnered with regional organizations including Clean Cities-Georgia to assemble the Southeast Alternative Fuel Deployment Partnership (SE-AFDP). Through additional funds, CTE is soliciting proposals from alternatively-fueled vehicle and infrastructure providers no later than 5 PM (ET) on March 26, 2021. The RFP can be found on CTE’s website.  

2021 Low-No Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of up to $180 million in competitive grant funds through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FTA’s Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program. The Low-No Program helps eligible project sponsors purchase or lease low- or no-emission vehicles and supports facilities that use advanced technologies to provide cleaner, more energy efficient transit operations in communities across the country. This year’s NOFO will prioritize applications with an environmental justice component as well as those that will support workforce development activities to help America’s transit workers succeed.
 
“The Biden Administration is committed to investing in clean transportation, and the Low or No Emission Program will put more American-made, energy-efficient buses into service across the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This is an important step forward in ensuring that communities have access to high-quality, zero-emission transportation options.”  
 
In support of the President’s January 20, 2021, Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, FTA is placing a priority on projects that will help improve air quality in non-attainment and maintenance areas for certain criteria pollutants under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This consideration will further the goals of the Executive Order, including the goal to prioritize environmental justice.
 
“Through the Low-No grant program, transit operators nationwide have the ability to replace aging buses near the end of their lifecycle with newer, cleaner models that are more efficient to operate and maintain,” said FTA Acting Administrator Nuria I. Fernandez.
 
To support American industry, FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA’s Buy America requirements (49 U.S.C. 5323(j)), which require that all iron, steel, and manufactured products be produced in the United States and that the cost of components and subcomponents of rolling stock produced in the United States must be more than 70 percent of the cost of all components. 
 
To further support America’s recovery from COVID-19, all providers of public transportation that are awarded funding through the Low-No Program must have fair and equitable labor protections in place as required by Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5333(b)), which helps preserve the rights and benefits of transit employees.
 
As part of FTA’s commitment to helping transit professionals keep up-to-date on technological advancements, Low-No recipients are permitted and encouraged to use up to 0.5 percent of their requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible under Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5314(b)) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute. 
 
Eligible applicants for Low-No funding include public transit agencies, state transportation departments and Indian Tribes. Projects will be evaluated by criteria defined in Federal law and in the (NOFO), including the applicant’s demonstration of need, the project’s benefits, project implementation strategy, and capacity for implementing the project.
 
Instructions for applying can be found on FTA’s website and in GRANTS.GOV (funding opportunity FTA-2021-001-LowNo). Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by April 12, 2021.

2021 INFRA Program

Please note that INFRA funds may NOT be used as cost-share funds for DERA and that DERA funds may NOT be used as cost-share funds for INFRA.
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced it is seeking applicants for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. INFRA grants will fund transportation projects of national and regional significance that are in line with the Biden Administration’s priorities including creating good-paying jobs, improving safety, applying transformative technology, and explicitly addressing climate change and racial equity. The funding available for this year’s grants totals approximately $889 million. 

The Department recognizes the role that infrastructure investment plays in economic development and job creation, and the added urgency of this funding at time when the COVID-19 pandemic has put stress on state and local budgets. 

“As we work to recover and emerge from this devastating pandemic stronger than before, now is the time to make lasting investments in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Buttigieg. “We are committed to not just rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, but building back in a way that positions American communities for success in the future—creating good paying jobs, boosting the economy, ensuring equity, and tackling our climate crisis. The INFRA grant program is a tremendous opportunity to help achieve these goals.” 

The USDOT seeks INFRA projects that address climate change and environmental justice. Projects will be evaluated on whether they were planned as part of a comprehensive strategy to address climate change and whether they support strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as deploying zero-emission vehicle infrastructure or encouraging modal shift and a reduction in vehicle-miles-traveled.  

Racial equity will also be considered as a selection criterion, to the extent that project sponsors have completed equity-focused community outreach, and projects are designed to improve connections to underserved communities to reduce barriers to opportunity. The Department will also consider whether the project is located in a federally designated community development zone, including qualified Opportunity Zones, Empowerment Zones, Promise Zones, or Choice Neighborhoods. 

INFRA projects will also be rated on the extent that they apply innovative technology, delivery, or financing methods with proven outcomes to deliver projects in a cost effective manner.  

The Department will make awards under the INFRA program to both large and small projects.  For a large project, the INFRA grant must be at least $25 million. For a small project, the grant must be at least $5 million. Under statutory requirements, 10 percent of available funds are reserved for small projects, and the Department must award at least 25 percent of funding for rural projects. 

INFRA grants may be used to fund a variety of components of an infrastructure project; however, the Department is specifically focused on projects in which the local sponsor is significantly invested and is positioned to proceed rapidly to construction.  Eligible INFRA project costs may include: reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, equipment acquisition, and operational improvements directly related to system performance.  

The FY 2021 INFRA NOFO also announces the creation of the “INFRA Extra” Program, which will identify competitive INFRA applicants who do not receive an INFRA award and authorize them to seek a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (TIFIA) loan up to 49 percent of their project cost. 

The Department will post and respond to questions related to the expanded INFRA program criteria, and post notices of upcoming webinars for stakeholders through the website listed below.  

This NOFO will remain open through March 19, 2021. To be added to the distribution list for program updates, email INFRAgrants@dot.gov. For more information visit: www.transportation.gov/INFRA