GreenStep Cities Quarterly Newsletter

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Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary toolkit

MPCA celebrates the role communities have in water quality. Toolkit available to help spread the message

In continued celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has created a special set of tools for cities and counties to use in explaining their critical role through wastewater treatment and stormwater collection in preserving and protecting water quality.

Visit the MPCA’s Clean Water Act anniversary page to download promotional tools for use in your communications throughout the year to showcase your role with clean water and the importance of the Clean Water Act.

Resources for wastewater treatment facilities

  • The wastewater process. Download a WW treatment visualization for posters, web banners, newsletter articles, social media graphics and more (see graphic above).
  • Wastewater through history. Another graphic for promotional and educational use.
  • What not to flush toolkit. Use our existing what not to flush toolkit to set up a special web page or make a flyer regarding what not to flush, or include this information in your statements to residents. Here’s a good example from the Metropolitan Council.
Post on: 02/06/2023

Community Heart & Soul Seed Grants

The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program provides $10,000 in funding for resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to start the Community Heart & Soul model. Grant funding requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization. 


Post on: 11/04/2022

Industrial Water Efficiency for MN Cities program

MnTAP and Minnesota Rural Water Association (MRWA) are partnering to support no cost assistance for water efficiency in Minnesota cities. The program provides training and technical assistance resources to help your community and your business evaluate the best way to start, continue or improve your water conservation efforts. MnTAP and MRWA will:

Education Workshops – We will come to you!

  • Attendees learn easy water saving techniques for work and home
  • Industrial, commercial, and/or residential focus
  • Presentation customized to your target audience
  • Public and private workshops available

Technical Assistance Process

  • Meet virtually to identify and discuss priorities
  • Collect data and observe processes onsite
  • Present water conservation workshop for staff customized to your business (optional)
  • Research opportunities and analyze resource use
  • Present recommended actions, potential savings, and payback period
  • Provide follow-up support for two years

Benefits of Working with MnTAP

  • 30+ years of water conservation experience
  • Experienced team of engineers and P2 specialists
  • Confidential support at your pace
  • Money-saving solutions for environmental challenges
  • Grant-funded projects (no cost to your organization)


Post on: 11/04/2022

Federal $

Need help?

Federal Programs: 

  • Now Open

Funding Opportunity:


Due Dates:

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program

Competitive DOT grant program to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in the places people live and work – urban and rural areas alike – in addition to along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs).  May 30, 2023
Urban and Community Forestry Grants

Forest Service competitive grants for investments that:  

  • increase equitable access to urban tree canopy and associated human health, environmental and economic benefits in disadvantaged communities
  • broaden community engagement in local urban forest planning
  • improve community and urban forest resilience to climate change, pests and storm events through best management and maintenance practices
June 1, 2023
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for $1 billion in grants to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses (including some munis and rural electric coops) invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. 

June 30, 2023
(with six quarterly competitions through 2024)

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program

Funding to implement strategies to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency (i.e. plans, energy audits, establish financial incentive programs/grants, building and transportation projects, distributed energy projects, material conservation projects, methane capture, renewable energy, etc.). Competitive funds (DE-FOA-0002883) are accessible to any entity not eligible for formula funds

Concept Paper due June 5, 2023

Energy Improvement in Rural and Remote Areas (ERA) Fixed Award Grant Program

Funding to support small community-driven clean energy projects requiring $500,000-$ 5 million. Goals of grant funding: 1) Deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas by funding replicable energy projects that lower energy costs, improve energy access and resilience, and/or reduce environmental harm; 2) Support new rural or remote energy system models using climate-resilient technologies, business structures that promote economic resilience, new financing mechanisms, and/or new community engagement practices; and 3) Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance in rural America.

Webinar: May 30

Pre-Application: July 13, 2023

Clean School Bus Program Grants

Funding will prioritize high-need school districts and low-income areas, including large public-school districts, rural school districts, Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded school districts, and school districts that receive basic support payments for children who reside on Indian land. Eligible activities include the replacement of existing internal-combustion engine (ICE) school buses with electric, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses, as well as the purchase of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure and EVSE installations.

August 22, 2023

Clean Commercial Vehicles

Access direct pay tax credit up to 30% cost of vehicle purchase (maximum $7,500 per vehicle)


Renewable and Clean Energy Projects

Access direct pay tax credits for a number of production and investment projects. 


  • Opening Soon 

Funding Opportunity:


Announcement Dates

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

Capital to increase investments in projects that reduce pollution and lower energy costs for families, particularly those in low-income and disadvantaged communities, and build capacity of community-based organizations, small businesses, workers, and suppliers

Early Summer 2023

Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Competitive EPA funding to implement projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution. Fall 2023
Neighborhood Access and Equity Program Addressing walking, biking, and transit access, especially in low-income areas. Not announced

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): Also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, became law on November 15, 2021. The IIJA authorized $1.2 trillion in funding opportunities across a wide variety of infrastructure subject areas, including:

  • Energy - Funding opportunities authorized under IIJA include grid modernization, new electric transmission, energy system resiliency and reliability updates, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, improvement to the energy efficiency of buildings, smart manufacturing, carbon capture and carbon utilization projects, renewable energy technologies and demonstration projects and other innovative initiatives. 
  • Transportation - provides higher funding levels and many new formula and discretionary grant programs that will expand the definition of transportation infrastructure and address health and community-driven outcomes. 
    • MnDOT: available grants and information about formula funding. 
    • DOT Navigator, US DOT: technical assistance to help communities understand the best ways to apply for grants, and to apply for and deliver transformative infrastructure projects and services. 
  • Water Infrastructure 
  • More resources: 

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): became law on August 16, 2022. The IRA authorized billions of dollars in funding opportunities across a wide variety of investment subject areas, including: 

Post on: 08/02/2022

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University. 

Find policies, programs, and incentives by state - including biomass, fuel-cells, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind, and energy-efficiency. 


Post on: 01/14/2020

Upstream Nutrient Reduction

Upstream Nutrient Reduction: MnTAP has launched a project geared towards working with facilities upstream of wastewater treatment plants to help them better-manage wastewater effluent.

Through this project, at no-cost, MnTAP staff and interns can help identify strategies for upstream nutrient reduction, which can:

  • Decrease load to local wastewater treatment ponds and plants
  • Reduce the burden on our local bodies of water and wildlife
  • Minimize pressure and costs for businesses that discharge wastewater


The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is an outreach program at the University of Minnesota that helps Minnesota organizations develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs to improve public health and the environment.

Post on: 11/18/2019

Current Grant Opportunities - League of Minnesota Cities Database

See current grant opportunities as part of the LMC Resource Library -

Post on: 06/26/2019

Clean Water Partnership Loans

The Clean Water Partnership (CWP) program offers zero-interest loans to local units of government for implementing nonpoint-source best management practices and other activities that target the restoration and protection of a water resource such as a lake, stream, or groundwater aquifer.

Eligible projects include:

  • Urban green infrastructure such as rain water reuse, green roofs, porous pavement, or any stormwater best management practice (BMP)
  • Buffers: purchase of native seeds and vegetation
  • Septic system upgrades and replacements
  • Technical assistance, outreach, and education
  • Equipment such as conservation tillage equipment
  • Any nonpoint source BMP
  • Feedlot upgrades and replacement  

Funding: Up to $2 million, 0% interest
Timing: Accepted on a rolling basis


Post on: 06/26/2019

MN State Program Navigator

The Minnesota State Program Navigator was developed in 2018 by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy to compile information and program offerings across state agencies that, specifically, rural communities might be interested in accessing. The Navigator includes technical (staff support, education, etc.) and financial (loans, grants, etc.) resources that incentivize or support rural communities in making environmental, sustainability, and community resilience improvements. Programs may be accessed by residents, farmers, businesses, educators, public entities and local governments. 

The State Program Navigator was developed in response to the 2016 Rural Climate Dialogue State Convening. The convening gathered rural residents from three counties (Stevens, Itasca, and Winona) and staff from over ten state agencies to discuss how the state government could better integrate rural priorities into their planning, and how rural residents and communities could better access state resources. Participants agreed that accessing state financial and technical resources was difficult given the breadth of programs across different agencies.


Post on: 02/14/2018