Money now! Click here

Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program

Through the Climate and Environmental Justice Block Grants from the Inflation Reduction Act, there are competitive, 3-year grants to states, tribes, municipalities, and community-based nonprofit organizations available for financial and technical assistance to address clean air and climate pollution in disadvantaged communities. 

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in partnership with the University of Maryland (UMD) Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH), and Environmental Finance Center (EFC), alongside multiple community-based partners will lead the Region 3 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center for the Mid-Atlantic region.  

The NWF is also extending its Region 3 community presence through community hubs such as the Overbrook Education Center in Pennsylvania.

To inquire about Technical Assistance regarding the EJ Communities Grantmaking Program, contact the NWF at (202) 792-5350 or 1-800-757-1405, or email For more information, visit NWF’s website here.  

Eligible Uses

Activities that benefit disadvantaged communities to confront and overcome persistent climate pollution challenges, including:

  • Community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, 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 resilience and adaptation, including nature-based solutions.
  • Reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution.
  • Facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal public processes, including facilitating such engagement in advisory groups, workshops, and rulemakings.

Eligible Recipients

A community-based nonprofit organization; a partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations; a partnership between a tribe, local government, or an institution of higher education and a community-based nonprofit organization.

EPA Thriving Communities EJ Small Grants

The EPA is launching a Thriving Communities EJ Grantmaking program, in which one organization in each EPA Region will serve as a Grantmaker awarding at least $40 million in EJ Thriving Communities Subgrants. 

EJ Thriving Communities Subgrants will be available for three distinct phases of community-readiness: Phase I subgrants will be for one year up for assessment projects up to $150,000, Phase II subgrants will be for 1-2 year(s) for planning projects up to $250,000, and Phase III subgrants are for two-years for project development projects up to $350,000.

Eligible projects:

  • Air quality & asthma
  • Fence line air quality monitoring
  • Monitoring of effluent discharges from industrial facilities
  • Water quality & sampling
  • Small cleanup projects
  • Improving food access to reduce vehicle miles traveled
  • Stormwater issues and green infrastructure
  • Lead and asbestos contamination
  • Pesticides & other toxic substances
  • Healthy homes that are energy/water use efficient & not subject to indoor air pollution
  • Illegal dumping activities, such as education, outreach, & small-scale clean-ups
  • Emergency preparedness & disaster resiliency
  • Environmental job training for occupations that reduce greenhouse gasses & other air pollutants
  • Environmental justice training for youth

Beyond Federal Grants, Entities Are Also Eligible For Direct Pay

Direct Pay—also called elective pay—is a method for tax-exempt and governmental entities that do not owe Federal income taxes to receive payment for building clean energy projects or making clean energy investments. Payment will be equal to the full value of the tax credits for which they qualify. 

Eligible entities who meet all requirements, including a pre-filing registration requirement, can receive tax-free cash payments from the IRS if they file a return and use elective pay for an applicable clean energy tax credit. Entities must complete the pre-filing registration with the IRS before the tax return is due and then file the return before the deadline, unless an extension is taken. Once the return is processed, entities will receive their payment.

Who is eligible for elective pay?

Tax-exempt and governmental entities are eligible for elective pay. Specifically, this includes:

  • Organizations exempt from taxation by § 501(a), which covers organizations described in § 501(c) and § 501(d) 
  • State, local, and political subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities, which include Indian tribal governments, Washington D.C., and, in a limited capacity, U.S. territories.
  • Rural electric cooperatives 

Tax Credits for Energy Generation:

  • Renewable Electricity Production Credit
  • Clean Electricity Production Credit
  • Energy Property Investment Credit
  • Clean Electricity Investment Credit
  • Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit (application required)

Tax Credits for Manufacturing:

  • Advanced Energy Project Credit (application required)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Production Credit

Tax Credits for Vehicles:

  • Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit

Tax Credits for Fuels:

  • Clean Hydrogen Production Credit
  • Clean Fuel Production Credits

Clean Energy Tax Incentives Chart

IRS Frequently Asked Questions on Direct Pay