Latrobe Bulletin: Shapiro administration announces commitment to fight climate change under new EPA climate grant program

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary Rich Negrin joined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 Administrator Adam Ortiz, PENNVEST Chairman Dr. Brian Regli, and local government partners last week to highlight the partnership between federal, state, and local governments to fight climate change.

Pennsylvania recently opted into the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program, part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The program provides grants to state and local government entities to develop climate action plans and makes them eligible for grants from the $4.6 billion pool established by the IRA and administered by the EPA.

“We are here to acknowledge the great partnerships we have to protect Pennsylvania’s clean air and pure water. Rising to meet the climate challenge is more than just a state government problem, or a federal government problem, or a local government problem,” said Negrin. “All climate change is local. 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.”

“Climate change is not a problem that sprang up overnight and is surely not one that will be fixed in a day,” said Ortiz. “Addressing the climate crisis takes real plans, real dollars, real will, and real work – and Pennsylvania has all of the above.”

“PENNVEST is looking forward making investments into reducing climate change. Today is another step in the process – helping communities across Pennsylvania implement their own climate plans to lower emissions and mitigate and adapt to climate change,” said Regli. “Pennsylvania has always been an industrial leader, with smart investments we can again lead the way on climate change and carbon pollution reduction.”

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission have all opted into the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program. Pennsylvania will receive up to a $3 million planning grant through the program; the regional planning commissions will receive up to $1 million planning grants.

“Greater Philadelphia is committed to attaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and preparing our communities for the impacts of climate change,” said Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Ariella Maron. “The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant will enable us to develop a plan that will guide future policy and investment decisions that are both equitable and sustainable. DVRPC is proud to lead this planning effort for our region.”

“We have a monumental opportunity to protect and improve our land, water and air. We must ensure that quality and availability of these resources is available now and into the future. 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,” said Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Becky Bradley.

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