Inland Empire Partnership on Federal Grants

February 13, 2024

SBCTA/SBCOG is joining with their Inland Empire counterparts to pursue a federal grant to reduce pollution and improve air quality.  At their February meeting the SBCTA/SBCOG Board of Directors approved a recommendation to have the Executive Director negotiate an Agreement with the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) to pursue and implement a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG).

The CPRG program provides grants to states, local governments, tribes and territories to develop and implement plans for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other harmful air pollution.  The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022, provided an investment of $5 billion to support efforts by states and municipalities thereof to develop and implement local GHG reduction strategies. 
In 2023, SBCTA/SBCOG was awarded funding from EPA to support the development of a regional Climate Action Plan (CAP) for the Riverside-San Bernardino Metropolitan Statistical Area (RSBMSA) to meet Phase 1 of the CPRG process.  The resulting Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) provides a comprehensive summary of GHG reduction measures for the RSBMSA, which is comprised of 54 jurisdictions in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. 

Some of the regional measures identified in the PCAP that gets the region the most GHG reductions are:

  • Public Building Decarbonization, providing a revolving fund for energy efficiency, solar and battery storage.
  • Residential Decarbonization, including incentives and installation of energy efficiency improvements for low-income and disadvantaged communities’ residents.
  • Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Charging, including Level 2 chargers to support community, commercial and multi-family residential locations, as well as DC fast chargers along highway corridors.

If the CPRG program was funded and fully implemented within the RSBMSA, it could represent the reduction of approximately 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over the next 20 years.  The final PCAP is due to the EPA in March and grant applications due in April.   If the RSBMSA plan is approved, funding for the program could arrive as soon as fall 2024.

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