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Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program

Funding for:

Funding for community-based organizations to build partnerships for solving environmental and public health problems.

What does this funding get me?

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program is part of the EPA’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program. The program helps recipients build collaborative partnerships with local business and industry, local government, medical service providers, academia, etc., to develop solutions to environmental or public health issues at the community level. It funds community-led projects aimed at pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation; investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure; and workforce development. 

Am I eligible?

Community-based nonprofits and partnerships of community-based nonprofits. The application period has passed for 2023, but read more below about the successful applicants in Pennsylvania and how you can benefit from their projects. 

How can I access the money?

It is unclear whether further grants will be awarded in 2024 and beyond. To be notified of upcoming opportunities, send a blank email to

Ninety-eight awards were made in October 2023, including 4 in Pennsylvania that may provide benefits to local communities. See all the 2023 award winners here.

Clean Water Fund, Pennsylvania

Project Description: CWF near Boston and Philadelphia, are addressing lead exposure in underserved communities suffering from lead poisoning that originates from multiple sources. This proposed joint effort builds on current initiatives to eliminate lead service lines (LSLs) in Massachusetts and an urgent, focused campaign to provide Philadelphians the knowledge they need to protect themselves from lead hazards. Funding will expand these efforts, adapting the information developed in Philadelphia for Massachusetts, and utilize the local networks and combined experience in both states to empower underserved communities to protect themselves from further exposure. 

John Bartram Association

Project Description: By working closely with local residents, including youth participants in paid workforce development programs, this project will leverage trusted existing programs to build and strengthen community coalitions as well as partnerships among NGOs, academia, and city agencies to strengthen the community’s climate resilience and build long-term environmental sovereignty and justice in a historically underserved neighborhood. This project will create a replicable model for addressing three key issues of environmental and public health: 1) combatting waste and pollution through advocacy and policy development, education, and training in order to end illegal dumping in the neighborhood; 2) greening and tree canopy expansion to mitigate climate and health risks from the urban heat island effect and to improve air quality; and 3) promoting public engagement through youth workforce development, home gardening, neighborhood clean-ups, and other community activities to build local capacity for continued advocacy, education, and empowerment.

Nueva Esperanza, Inc.

Project Description: The Hunting Park Community-Led Climate Resilience and Empowerment Project (HPCCR) will build the capacity of residents, leaders, and neighborhood infrastructure to improve the climate resiliency of Hunting Park (HP) against the disproportionate health and economic impacts of heat in low-income, predominantly Black and Latino community in one of the city’s poorest districts. Numerous measures, including the EPA EJScreen, demonstrate the urgent need for collective problem solving in HP. Building upon a strong foundation of past efforts and current commitments to advance community-led environmental justice work within HP, Esperanza and project partners will utilize the EJCPS model to 1) sustain historic progress in building tree cover within HP by addressing unmet demand for additional trees and expanding youth leadership via coordinated neighborhood tree maintenance; 2) empower residents and leaders with skills-based training in heat mitigation, weatherization, and environmental policy; 3) prioritize block-level and in-home interventions including distributions of cooling kits and AC units; 4) facilitate social cohesion and normalize conversations about climate resiliency through ongoing community dialogue; 5) build awareness of climate related fields and prepare local workforce via solar panel installation trainings; 6) formalize a policy platform for HP to inform sustained calls for future investments; and 7) complete an HIA to gauge the impact of extreme heat on neighborhood health measures. The HPCCR will expand upon lessons and insights from past heat mitigation projects to pilot a robust, comprehensive, and coordinated community-empowered response that advance the health and well-being of residents in HP.

Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance

Project Description: In February 2020, the need for revitalization in the greater Shamokin communities was brought to life in a public forum. Spearheaded by the local Faith Alliance for Revitalization and the EPA’s Office for Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, the workshop brought together passionate residents dedicated to improving life in the community. At a Reconvening Workshop in February 2023, several groups recognized the benefit of uniting to pool resources, skills, and volunteers as a means of reaching this goal. These primary groups, the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance, FAR Better Together, and Shamokin Community Gardens, will partner together to establish a brick-and-mortar presence in the community staffed by a full-time coordinator. A Program Manager and Advisory Board, consisting of partner representatives, will coordinate to vet project proposals and expenditures to promote goals of the community. Currently each of these nonprofits is working independently without the benefits of dedicated, paid staff. All engage in fundraising efforts to help advance their goals, but in a small, economically depressed community like Shamokin, these resources are scarce and groups often find themselves in competition for needed resources. Without collaboration, there has been duplication of services and projects; by joining together the organizations will be able to coordinate resources and efforts efficiently. This project will establish office space that is visible and accessible to the community and coordinate collaborative projects to improve the quality of life in the greater Shamokin Area remaining mindful of each organization’s mission.

What is the timeline?

Ninety-eight awards were made in October 2023 (see details above). It is unclear whether additional grants will be awarded in future years.

What other incentives could I use to help me accomplish my goals?

You may be able to access more funding from the Environmental Justice Grants, Funding and Technical Assistance Page

Where can I get more information?