EPA opens $100 million grant program for construction material EPDs

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

The Environmental Protection Agency is accepting through January 8 applications for grants under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)-funded Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Construction Materials and Products program. Budgeted at $100 million, it will support a) businesses that process or manufacture, remanufacture or refurbish construction materials or products in development and verification of Environmental Product Declarations; and, b) states or nonprofit organizations assisting such businesses in EPD launches. Declarations emanating from the program will make it easier for state or local governments and other institutional buyers to ensure the construction projects they fund are using low carbon construction materials.

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, which has published EPDs for Austin-based Texas Concrete, Virginia-based Elizabeth River Concrete (below) and peer operators across the industry, is a candidate for grants under the new EPA program.

EPA requests that eligible businesses, agencies or organizations submit a Notice of Intent to apply for a grant to [email protected] by October 27. Under FY 2024 funding, the agency plans to award 40 grants and/or cooperative agreements, some which would enable funding and technical assistance to flow to hundreds of small businesses via subaward programs established by selected eligible applicants. Funding amounts for individual grant and cooperative agreements are anticipated to be in the range of $250,000 to $10 million. EPA has published the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Reducing Embodied GHG grant competition here, and posted key program parameters here. Agency staff will host November 2 or November 14 webinars, 2-3 p.m. EST,  covering the grant competition and application process, registration available here.

“In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in construction materials and products, we must be able track and understand where they are,” says EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Michal Freedhoff. “These new grants will help ensure manufacturers have access to the assistance they need to disclose and reduce emissions, thereby supporting thriving and healthy communities across America.”

“The funding announcement from EPA is like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche of industrial sector emissions reductions in the U.S.,” adds U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY). “By shining a light on leading low and no carbon products, providing direct incentives to deeply decarbonize industrial facilities, and creating a market for these products, the IRA is driving down emissions in one of the hardest to abate sectors while supporting U.S. jobs and industry.”

EPA is working with other federal agencies as part of a broader IRA-funded initiative to improve construction material or product embodied carbon metrics. The Act also appropriates more than $2 billion each to the General Services Administration and Federal Highway Administration for respective use of low embodied carbon materials in federal building construction or renovation and certain transportation projects.

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