BG Public Works applies for federal grant to address climate pollution

The grant, offered through a partnership between the EPA and the federal government, will fund infrastructure to reduce climate pollution nationwide.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - In a bold first step to combat the effects of climate pollution, Bowling Green Public Works has applied for a new grant offered through the federal government and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant was created to allow communities nationwide to implement infrastructure that would help to reduce the effects of climate change. It was offered by the federal government to all 50 states.

Kentucky, Florida, Iowa, and South Dakota declined the offer. However, Matt Powell, environmental manager for Public Works, says that the money does not end there.

“Roughly four states across the country, Kentucky being one, declined to pursue the funding, which allowed that funding to pass through to the three largest communities within that state. So, Bowling Green being the third largest city in Kentucky, we, along with our partners, Edmonson, Allen, and Butler County are going to have access to that funding,” said Powell.

Once received, the funding is flexible. Any projects related to developing, updating, or evaluating plans to reduce climate pollution are eligible. This can include funding infrastructure, new staffing, promotion of electric vehicles, renewable energy alternatives, or any other project that works to reduce the community’s carbon footprint. The first round of funding, up to $1 million per community, will be announced within the next month.

Bowling Green will be the third smallest city to receive funding, but the impact on the surrounding community could be long-lasting. While Bowling Green has the funding power, residents are welcome to weigh in on ideas for climate pollution reduction.

“The city of Bowling Green has already opened up a web portal where folks around the community can take a look and say, ‘Hey, I think if we had an improved intersection at this point,’ or, ‘I think if this money or this funding were available, this community might be able to accomplish a goal somewhere that would reduce our climate pollution impact,” said Powell. “So, we’re absolutely ecstatic to hear those types of ideas and see them come in through the web portal.”

Following the first round of funding, an additional round of ‘implementation funds’ will be made open for applications. This grant will be for $5 billion to be split among 127 communities across the country.