The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission received $1 million in federal funding to continue its work developing a comprehensive climate action plan for the region, the state announced Friday.
The commission will work with Pennsylvania to update existing climate, energy, or sustainability plans, or to develop new plans, according to details about the grant published on the state’s website.
The money comes from federal dollars set aside in the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year by Congress, which allocates $250 million of non-competitive grants to states and local governments focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollutants.
Eligible agencies will later be enrolled in a second, competitive round for a $4.6 billion funding pool administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a news release by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission was named among three Pennsylvania planning commissions to receive support from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission also received $1 million each.
Pennsylvania will receive nearly $3 million in planning grant money through the program.
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Becky Bradley called the grant “a monumental opportunity” to protect and improve the region’s land, water and air resources for future generations.
The commission plans to use the dollars to complete the work on the new Regional Climate Action Plan and other objectives set up by FutureLV: The Regional Plan, Bradley said, including a regional green infrastructure program supporting clean water and flood mitigation; installation of permanent air quality monitoring systems; advancement of the electric vehicle charging network; and advancement of walking, biking and ADA accessibility in the region.
“Addressing our climate crisis is going to require the kind of planning and response that can only be accomplished through a multi-governmental partnership. It’s a practical, innovative path to the best possible outcomes,” Bradley said. “We have a monumental opportunity to protect and improve our land, water and air.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary Rich Negrin joined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 Administrator Adam Ortiz, PENNVEST Chairman Brian Regli and local government officials on Friday to celebrate the partnership between federal, state, and local governments in the fight against climate change.
“All climate change is local,” Negrin said. “It is an all of the above problem and needs an all of the above solution, and it is so important to have strong partners at the federal and local level all committing to fight climate change alongside us.”
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