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GreenStep Cities Quarterly Newsletter

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Reporting Open Office Hours - Feb-March

Action and metric reporting is due April 1 - no joke! This is to be recognized at the June League of Minnesota Cities annual conference for 2023. 

Virtual Office Hours are available. Hop in any time – no need to let us know if you are coming! The link is the same for all days.

Related to: Announcement
Post on: 12/16/2022

Level 2 EV Charging Grant - Due 2/28

The MPCA is now accepting applications to install Level 2 EV charging stations in public places, workplaces, and multiunit dwellings. The approximately $664,000 in grant funds aim to reduce tailpipe emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions, in the state and improve air quality and public health by increasing the use of electric vehicles in place of gas-powered cars.

The maximum amount available is $7,500 for a single-port station and $15,000 per dual-port station installation. The maximum award per application is $150,000. Projects must include a minimum of two charging station units. The charging stations do not have to be in the same location, although, each location must have a minimum of two charging ports. Grantees will be required to provide a cash match for a percentage of the equipment cost. The grant funds come from Minnesota’s share of the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement.

More information on the grant and links to the application materials can be found on the grant webpage. You'll also find details on accessing an online training designed to assist applicants. This information session will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. Applications for this grant program are due no later than 4:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. Grant awardees will need to be registered in SWIFT so please review all information carefully and sign up early!

Questions? Applicants who have any questions regarding this RFP must email questions to grants.pca@state.mn.us, subject line: “FY23 EV charging” no later than 4:30 p.m. CT on February 8, 2023. Answers to questions will be posted frequently in the SWIFT Supplier Portal.

Post on: 12/02/2022

Conservation Partners Legacy Grants - Due 3/13

The Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant program is now accepting applications for the 4th round of Expedited Conservation Projects.

The third round of Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP) grants recently closed. Nearly $1,000,000 remains for the third round of ECP funds which is open now until March 13, 2023.  

The ECP grant cycle funds eligible activities that restore or enhance forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, and wildlife on public lands/waters in Minnesota. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $50,000, with a maximum total project cost of $1,000,000. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply, and a 10% match of non-state funds is required. Apply online by 3:00 PM on March 13, 2023. Funding for the CPL program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

Additional Information:

FY2023 Request for Proposal

FY2023 CPL Funding Schedule

Questions? Please email lscplgrants.dnr@state.mn.us for more information.

Post on: 11/30/2022

Clean Water Legacy Partners Grants

BWSR Accepting Applications for Clean Water Legacy Partners Pilot Program

Minnesota tribal governments, nonprofit organizations eligible for grants that benefit water quality

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is now accepting grant applications for the Clean Water Legacy Partners Pilot Program, a new initiative that seeks to protect, enhance and restore water quality throughout the state. Eligible applicants are tribal governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

“These grants offer new opportunities to accomplish important water quality protection or restoration work,” said BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke. “We look forward to seeing the results from these partnerships through this new pilot program.”

A total of $500,000 from the Clean Water Fund is available to each of the two eligible applicant groups. Grant requests must be between $25,001 and $250,000; a non-state match of at least 10%, provided via cash or in-kind services, is required. The grants can be used for a wide range of conservation activities including urban stormwater practices, agricultural best management practices, shoreline stabilization projects, well sealing and public engagement efforts. Read more about the program in BWSR’s Snapshots newsletter.

EXAMPLES OF ELIGIBLE PRACTICES. Activities that result in multiple benefits are strongly encouraged.

  • urban stormwater practices (e.g. rain gardens)
  • forestry practices
  • agricultural conservation practices (e.g. fencing cattle out of streams or cover crops)
  • in-lake, lakeshore and streambank stabilization projects
  • well sealing
  • septic system upgrades
  • community/public engagement events and activities related to clean water
  • other water quality projects

HOW TO APPLY Visit the BWSR website for more information and to complete an application at https://bwsr.state.mn.us/apply 

DEADLINE: The application period closes Feb. 15, 2023. For more information on how to apply, see the program’s Request for Proposals on BWSR’s website.

Post on: 11/18/2022

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. 

LEARN MORE AND APPLY

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)

LEARN MORE AND APPLY

Post on: 11/04/2022

Federal $

Need help?


The federal 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: 

The federal 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

Rethinking Waste - webinar series July-Feb.

The NRDC Seed Series, launching on July 6, introduces participants to key topics and issues in the world of discard studies; a growing, transdisciplinary field that centers how waste impacts our world. From the role of waste in pop culture to the lifesaving labor of sanitation workers to the relationship between the after-deathcare industry and waste inequity, and so much more. This 10-part webinar series serves as a point of departure for participants to learn more about how they can take steps in their own lives towards climate justice, anti-racism and rethinking waste.

The host of the series is Jesi Taylor – journalist, Discard Studies Co-Editor, philosophy graduate student, and TRUE Advisor. Her work and research lie at the intersection of Black Studies, Genocide Studies, Ethics, and Legal Theory with a focus on how waste mismanagement disproportionately impacts chronically disenfranchised communities.

Each webinar will be recorded and live streamed on NRDC YouTube channel. We will update this blog post with the links to the recordings throughout the series.

The webinar dates, topics, registration link and/or recordings are as follows:

  • July 6: “Waste” as a Construct - Learn about the history of waste and disposability and how excessive waste came to be culturally acceptable. 

  • July 27:  Waste Colonialism and Inequity - Learn how the concept of “waste” perpetuates systems of violence and racism. 

  • August 24: The Myth of “Away” - Examine how disposability politics and waste inequity disproportionately and purposely impact certain communities.

  • September 14: Deathcare and Toxic Capitalism - Learn about how the deathcare industry (after-death services) perpetuates waste colonialism and harms the environment. 

  • October 12: Trashy Art - Learn about how humans have engaged with naturally occurring materials and waste to make art throughout history. 

  • November 2: Waste in Pop Culture - Examine how themes related to waste in popular media impact how we relate to waste conceptually and in our daily lives.

  • November 30: Community Care for Sanitation Workers - Learn about the essential role and labor of sanitation workers and why they need our support. 

  • January 11: Food Apartheid and Food Waste - Learn about the relationship between structural racism, colonialism, and food apartheid in the context of waste inequity. 

  • February 1: Soil, Water, and Pollutants - Examine how waste mismanagement impacts hydrological, agricultural, and soil-based systems on this planet. 

  • February 22: Decolonizing Urban Forest Ecology - Learn about how colonialism impacts urban tree ecology, related planning initiatives, and conversations about urban green spaces. 

LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Post on: 07/13/2022

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. 

LEARN MORE and SEARCH. 

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