State Impact PA: Pa. to get $6 million in grants for climate change planning from the Environmental Protection Agency

The federal government is giving Pennsylvania a down payment to plan how to best adapt to and mitigate climate change locally.

In Harrisburg on Friday, state and federal officials said Pennsylvania will get about $6 million to create priority climate action plans.

The commonwealth will receive up to a $3 million Climate Pollution Reduction Grant through the program set up by the Inflation Reduction Act. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will each also get a grant of up to $1 million.

Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Rich Negrin said the money will jumpstart the state’s blueprint for a safer and cleaner future.

He noted some cities already have climate action plans. The state plans to use the new money to work with communities across the commonwealth.

“We’re talking about some of those counties, some of those municipalities that don’t live in that space, don’t have the staff, don’t have the resources to do a real meaningful comprehensive climate plan. This should allow them to do that,” Negrin said.

Adam Ortiz, Region 3 Administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, said Pennsylvania represents many sectors of the country, from energy production to agriculture.

“If Pennsylvania can figure out climate change here, America can figure out climate change anywhere,” Ortiz said.

The resulting plans can include things like installing air quality monitoring systems, plugging old oil and gas wells, or converting school bus fleets to electric vehicles.

The plans will make the state eligible for grants from a pool of $4.6 billion to carry out the work.

“The planning dollars need to come to fruition in a plan and a project that just makes sense, that you’re identifying a significant need, and you’re driving the right resources to that need to make a difference and hopefully measure some outcomes,” Negrin said.

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