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Community Clean Air Grant applications available Monday, April 26

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Environment

The City encourages proposals from residents, nonprofits, and businesses to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

Mayor Kim Janey and the Environment, Energy, and Open Space department today announced that applications for the new Community Clean Air Grant program will open Monday, April 26. Funded through the Air Pollution Control Commission, the City is seeking to support locally-driven proposals from residents, nonprofit organizations, and businesses for projects that will produce meaningful, measurable steps to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution. There will be three rounds of funding throughout the year for projects that will contribute to the City of Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan Update, which details specific actions the City is taking over five years to significantly cut emissions across all sectors in order to reach our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Climate change affects all Boston residents, but we know that it disproportionately impacts some of our communities more than others. By taking actionable steps to improve the air quality throughout our city we not only improve our public health, but also reduce our contribution to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change,” said Mayor Janey. “With the new Community Clean Air Grant program, we hope to empower community members, especially socially vulnerable groups, to take meaningful actions that contribute to our long-term goals and directly benefit their neighbors and communities.” 

The Community Clean Air Grant is open to any individual or entity who would like to respond, and the City encourages participation from small, local, minority-owned, women-owned, and other disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) and entities. In order to be eligible for funding, proposals must do at least one of the following:

  • Eliminate or otherwise address specific sources of air pollution within Boston;
  • Reduce the negative health impacts of air pollution emissions within Boston;
  • Enhance the ability of local communities in Boston to improve local air quality;
  • Have a measurable impact on air quality or carbon emissions within Boston.

The City strongly encourages partnerships with and among local community groups and partners, and has provided a directory on the web page to encourage collaboration and joint proposals. To ensure the program is accessible and all interested applicants have as much information as possible, the applications and materials are available in English, Español (Spanish), Kreyòl ayisyen (Haitian Creole), 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese), 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), and kriolu (Cape Verdean Creole). For anyone interested in applying, the Environment, Energy, and Open Space staff is offering two informational webinars and is hosting office hours to provide more information, answer questions, and assist with completing applications. Applications are due by Friday, June 4

Webinar #1

Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 9 a.m.

Register

Webinar #2

Thursday, May 6, 2021, 5:30 p.m.

Register

Office Hours

Wednesdays through June 4 3-5pm

Register

Air pollution contributes to higher rates of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and has been linked to higher COVID-19 mortality rates. Some air pollutants, like methane and carbon dioxide, are also greenhouse gases, which warm the atmosphere and lead to higher temperatures and rising seas. Communities located near highways and other major transportation infrastructure, and socially vulnerable populations, such as people of color, older residents, children, and people with chronic illnesses, are negatively impacted at a higher rate than others.

Mayor Janey’s Administration is taking steps to recognize and address the risks of climate change, and to protect Boston’s urban ecosystem. This month, Mayor Janey proposed the following investments for environmental resilience and climate justice in the Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Capital Plan proposal:

  • $48 million for Phase 2 and 3 of Renew Boston Trust, which is designed to identify energy retrofit project opportunities in City-owned buildings to create future energy savings. 
  • $5 million for a Climate Ready Boston Harbor study to support the development of a study that will examine the feasibility of measures along and within the Boston Harbor to reduce vulnerability of coastal flooding due to sea level rise caused by climate change.
  • $20 million to design and implement a signature, climate resilient waterfront park along the Fort Point Channel.
  • $1.7 million per year for the ongoing program of street tree planting throughout the city
  • $1.8 million to repave pathways at Dorchester Park 
  • $7.5 million to repave pathways at the Back Bay Fens to improve accessibility and site conditions
  • $15.5 million to complete the park redesign at Copley Square to optimize resilience to high-traffic events and storm-water
  • $9.4 million to redesign and construct a new Malcolm X Park through the City’s first Equitable Procurement Pilot program

As indicated in the 2019 Climate Action Plan update, the City of Boston is taking action to stop our contribution to climate change. Between 2005 and 2016, the amount of carbon pollution emitted by city operations was reduced by 18 percent. Last month, the City announced the completion of $11 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to 14 municipal buildings, representing $680,000 in savings and a one percent reduction in municipal greenhouse gas emissions. In February, Community Choice Electricity began supplying over 200,000 residences and commercial customers with more affordable and renewable electricity. In order to provide high quality, safe, and cleaner affordable housing to our most vulnerable residents, the City of Boston recently awarded $34 million to support the creation of 608 new units that will be built to zero emissions standards. Climate Ready Boston is simultaneously strengthening Boston’s climate change resilience and adaptation with near- and long-term planning through neighborhood-level engagement and solutions. 

Last week, Mayor Janey announced Reverend Mariama White-Hammond as Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston. In this role, Rev. White-Hammond, who started today, will be responsible for leading the Cabinet in achieving its mission of enhancing environmental justice and quality of life in Boston by protecting air, water, climate, and land resources, as well as preserving and improving the integrity of Boston's architectural and historic resources. For more information on how Boston is actively preparing for the impacts of climate change and advancing the vision of a resilient city, visit boston.gov/environment.

To learn more about the grants and application process, please visit boston.gov/clean-air-grant. To learn more about the work of the Environment, Energy, and Open Space department, please visit boston.gov/environment.