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Leveraging the Partnership: DOT, HUD, and EPA Programs for Sustainable Communities

Note: An updated version of this information is available at

This guide to federal programs is intended to help communities identify resources available to support their efforts to promote livable and sustainable communities.

In June 2009, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities was formed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

These three agencies have pledged to ensure that housing and transportation goals are met while simultaneously protecting the environment, promoting equitable development, and helping to address the challenges of climate change.

The following Livability Principles are guiding their work:

Please Note:
The following funding and technical assistance programs are not a complete list of DOT, HUD, and EPA grant and technical assistance programs. These programs are included here because of their connection to the principles of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation serves the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, both today and into the future.

DOT will work to promote livable communities and enhance the economic and social well-being of all Americans by creating and maintaining a safe, reliable, integrated, and accessible transportation network. A multimodal transportation system increases choice, provides easy access to employment opportunities and other destinations, and improves the surrounding community. DOT will work to build on innovative ways of doing business that promote mobility and enhance the unique characteristics of our neighborhoods, communities, and regions.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER): The TIGER Discretionary Grant Program was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur a national competition for innovative, multimodal, and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region, or the nation. In February 2010, DOT selected 51 projects to be funded with the $1.5 billion allocated in the Recovery Act, including improvements to roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit and intermodal facilities. In FY 2010, DOT will be competitively selecting a second round of projects under the TIGER program. Up to $600 million will be funded, including $35 million set aside for planning projects. The solicitation is expected later in FY 2010.

Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse: TThis is US DOT's one-stop source of information on transportation and climate change issues. It includes information on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, analytic methods and tools, GHG reduction strategies, potential impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure, and approaches for integrating climate change considerations into transportation decision making.

Joint Federal Transit and Federal Highway Administration Programs

Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program: This FHWA/FTA comprehensive program provides training, technical assistance, and support to help decision makers, transportation officials, and staff resolve the increasingly complex issues they face when addressing transportation needs in their communities. Resources available through this program address topics such as land use, scenario planning, transit-oriented development, non-motorized transportation, safety, community impact assessments, operations and management strategies, and analysis methods. This program is targeted to tribal, regional, state, and local governments; transit operators; and community leaders.

Metropolitan & Statewide Planning Formula Grant Programs: These programs, jointly administered by FTA and FHWA, provide formula funding to support cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive planning for making transportation investment decisions in metropolitan areas and statewide. Eligible recipients include state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations. and

Federal Transit Administration

A safe, reliable, integrated, and accessible transportation system supports communities, expands business opportunities, and improves people's quality of life while also creating jobs. FTA programs offer different opportunities for funding transportation planning and projects that can assist your community's development and stimulate America's neighborhoods to become safer, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable. FTA provides stewardship of combined formula and discretionary programs totaling more than $10 billion to support a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems throughout the United States. Public transportation systems typically include buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways, or people movers.

Formula Funding Programs for Transit

Urbanized Areas Formula Grant Program: This program makes federal resources available via formula allocation to transit agencies in urbanized areas over 200,000 in population and to governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas between 50,000 and 200,000 in population. Funding can be used for planning, engineering design and evaluation of transit projects, and other technical transportation-related studies. Funding can also be used for capital investments in bus and bus-related activities such as replacement, overhaul, and rebuilding of buses. For urbanized areas with populations of 200,000 or more, at least one percent of the funding apportioned to each area must be used for transit enhancement activities such as historic preservation, landscaping, public art, pedestrian access, bicycle access, and enhanced access for persons with disabilities.

Rail and Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula Program: This program provides funding via formula allocation to transit agencies with a fixed guideway transit system. A "fixed guideway" refers to any transit service that uses exclusive or controlled rights-of-way or rails, entirely, or in part. The term includes heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, monorail, trolleybus, aerial tramway, inclined plane, cable car, automated guideway transit, ferryboats, that portion of motor bus service operated on exclusive or controlled rights-of-way, and high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes. Funds can be used to modernize or improve existing fixed guideway systems.

Rural and Small Urban Area Formula Grant Program: This program provides critical transit access to residents in nonurbanized areas to employment, health, educational, and other important human services and opportunities. Via formula-based funding to states, this program supports public transportation in areas of less than 50,000 in population. Funds may be used for capital, operating, and administrative assistance to state agencies, local public bodies, Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, and operators of public transportation services. The Intercity Bus program (5311(f)) under this program supports the connection between nonurbanized areas and the larger regional or national system of intercity bus service.

Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP): RTAP provides funding to assist in the design and implementation of training and technical assistance projects and other support services tailored to meet the needs of transit operators in nonurbanized areas. RTAP has both state and national program components.

Competitive Funding Programs for Transit

Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Grant Program: This program provides capital assistance for new and replacement buses, related equipment, and facilities, as well as intermodal transit centers. Funding is available to states for rural and small urban bus and bus facility projects and to transit agencies for projects in urban areas greater than 200,000 in population. While often earmarked by Congress, this program does have competitive opportunities to provide funding for the purchase of bus and bus facilities, which are announced in the Federal Register.

New Starts/Small Starts Discretionary Grant Program: These discretionary programs are the federal government's primary financial resource (49 U.S.C. 5309) for supporting the planning, development, and construction of major transit fixed guideway capital projects. New Starts and Small Starts have helped make possible dozens of new or extended transit fixed guideway systems across the country - heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferries. New Starts projects are typically greater than $250 million in total project cost, requesting greater than $75 million in New Starts funding. The Small Starts program supports fixed guideway projects smaller than the New Starts cost thresholds. Participation in the New Starts and Small Starts programs requires completion of a legislatively directed process for planning and project development.

Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Discretionary Grant Program: Based upon an annual national competitive selection process, FTA awards Tribal Transit grants directly to federally-recognized Indian tribes. Recipients of Tribal Transit Program grants may use these funds for planning, capital and operating assistance for rural public transit services, and support for rural intercity bus service.

Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program: TIGGER grants are awarded to public transit agencies for the implementation of new strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or reducing energy usage from their operations. These strategies can be implemented through operational or technological enhancements or innovations.

Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks Discretionary Grant Program: This program protects environmentally sensitive national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands while improving visitor experience through funding for public transportation and other alternative transportation. Administered by FTA in partnership with the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service, the program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems such as shuttle buses and bicycle trails in national parks and public lands. The goals of the program are to conserve natural, historical, and cultural resources; reduce congestion and pollution; improve visitor mobility and accessibility; enhance visitor experience; and ensure access to all, including persons with disabilities.

Funding Programs for Transit Serving Target Populations

FTA believes that all segments of the population should have safe, reliable access to public transportation. FTA offers several grant programs tailored to target populations such as the elderly, Americans with disabilities, and low-income workers who face particular challenges with access to critical services. FTA programs provide lifeline services through a "mobility management" approach to ensure access for all Americans to public transportation. FTA is also committed to maintaining affordable transportation services for all communities.

Transportation for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities: This program provides formula funding to states to help private nonprofit groups meet the transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities when transportation service is unavailable or insufficient. Funds are apportioned based on each state's share of population for these groups of people. For persons with mobility limitations related to advanced age, persons with disabilities, and persons struggling for self-sufficiency, transportation within and between communities needs to be as available and affordable as possible.

The Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARC): JARC provides low-income workers and students with transportation services to jobs, employment centers, and educational institutions. A recent study of the economic benefits of employment-related transportation services concluded that transportation funded through the JARC program provided access to approximately 43.4 million jobs, including 21.2 million low-wage jobs.

The New Freedom Formula Grant Program: This program aims to provide additional tools to overcome barriers that Americans with disabilities face when seeking integration into the work force and full participation in society. Lack of adequate transportation is a primary barrier to work for individuals with disabilities. The 2000 Census showed that only 60 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 64 with disabilities are employed. The New Freedom formula grant program seeks to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand the mobility options available to people with disabilities beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Federal Highway Administration

FHWA has broad responsibility for improving mobility and safety on our nation's roads and highways through national leadership, innovation, and program delivery. Although state, local, and tribal governments own most of the nation's highways, FHWA provides financial and technical support to these governments for constructing, improving, and preserving America's highway system. Its annual budget of more than $30 billion is funded by fuel and motor vehicle excise taxes. The budget is primarily divided between two programs: Federal-aid funding to state and local governments; and Federal Lands Highways funding for national parks, national forests, Indian lands, and other land under federal stewardship.

The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides federal financial resources and technical assistance to state and local governments for constructing, preserving, and improving the National Highway System and resources for urban and rural roads that are not on the National Highway System, but that are eligible for federal aid. Below are a few of FHWA's programs that can be used to promote livable community projects.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program: The goal of this program is to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, injuries and crashes and make the Nation's roads safer for these vulnerable road users. This is achieved through conducting research and developing guidelines, tools, and safety countermeasures. In addition, program members focus on crash data to identify crash hot spots and determine lower cost measures to improve safety. Part of the effort includes trying to aggressively reduce pedestrian deaths by focusing extra resources on the states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas) and cities (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, New York City, Washington DC) with the highest pedestrian fatalities and/or fatality rates.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP): This program provides funds to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Federal transportation funds benefit recreation, including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or other off-road motorized vehicles.

Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program: TE activities offer opportunities to help expand transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience through activities related to surface transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and safety programs, scenic and historic highway programs, landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation, and environmental mitigation. TE projects must relate to surface transportation and must qualify under one or more of the eligible categories.

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS): While not a funding program, CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in developing a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while maintaining safety and mobility. CSS considers the total context within which a transportation improvement project will exist. CSS principles include the employment of early, continuous, and meaningful involvement of the public and all stakeholders throughout the project development process. The project is designed and built with minimal disruption to the community.

National Scenic Byways Program: Grants and technical assistance are provided to states and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads, America's Byways, and state scenic or Indian tribe scenic byways and to plan, design, and develop a state or Indian tribe scenic byway program. Funds shall be available for an activity related to the planning, design, or development of a state or Indian tribe scenic byway program; development and implementation of a byway corridor management plan; safety improvements to accommodate increased traffic; improvements that enhance access; protection of resources adjacent to the byway; development and implementation of a marketing program; development and provision of tourist infrastructure; and construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, interpretive facilities, overlooks, and other enhancements for byway travelers.

Safe Routes to School Program: For infrastructure-related projects, eligible activities are the planning, design, and construction of projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bike to school. These include sidewalk improvements, traffic calming and speed reduction improvements, pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements, on-street bicycle facilities, off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities, secure bike parking, and traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools (within approximately two miles). Such projects may be carried out on any public road or any bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail in the vicinity of schools.

Each state must set aside from its Safe Routes to School apportionment not less than 10 percent and not more than 30 percent of the funds for non-infrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school. These include public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders; traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools; student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment; and training of volunteers and managers of Safe Routes to School programs.

Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program (TCSP): These discretionary funds, usually earmarked by Congress, may be used to carry out eligible projects to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices that improve the efficiency of the transportation system of the United States; reduce the impacts of transportation on the environment; reduce the need for costly future investments in public infrastructure; provide efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade; examine community development patterns; and identify strategies to encourage private-sector development.

Towns and cities should contact the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for their area for prospective projects. A list of MPOs can be found at For additional information, towns and cities can contact their state department of transportation.

Flexible Programs Under the Federal Highway Administration

Many Federal-Aid Highway programs have specific eligible transit activities identified in legislation. In addition, funds from other programs that do not have specific transit eligibility may be transferred by states to other Federal-Aid Highway programs that do have such eligibility. If funds are transferred from one Federal-Aid Highway program to another, those funds then have the same eligibility as the program that they are transferred to. For example, Interstate Maintenance (IM) funds transferred to the Surface Transportation Program (STP) would have the same eligibility as STP funds.

To transfer funds from FHWA to FTA, the state department of transportation must request that the funds be transferred, with the concurrence of the MPO if the project is within a metropolitan planning area, in a letter to the FHWA Division Office. Funding transfers are permitted only for projects contained in an approved metropolitan transportation improvement program (TIP) and/or statewide transportation improvement program (STIP).

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program: The CMAQ program supports transportation projects or programs that will improve air quality and relieve congestion in areas that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Reducing pollution and other adverse environmental effects of transportation projects and transportation system inefficiency have been long-standing DOT objectives. CMAQ funds may be used to establish new or expanded transportation projects or programs that reduce emissions, including capital investments in transportation infrastructure, congestion relief efforts, and diesel engine retrofits. Other CMAQ projects include operating assistance for new transit services, travel demand management strategies, traffic flow improvement programs that reduce emissions, and bicycle/pedestrian facilities and programs.

Surface Transportation Program: The Surface Transportation Program provides flexible funding that may be used by states and localities for projects on any federal-aid highway, including the National Highway System, bridge projects on any public road, transit capital projects, and intracity and intercity bus terminals and facilities. It can be used for a broad array of highway purposes and flexibly used for major transit purposes as well. A few examples include buying buses or rail vehicles or constructing fixed guideway systems like light rail or heavy rail.

National Highway System (NHS) Program: The NHS Program provides flexible funding that may be used by states and localities for projects to make improvements to rural and urban roads that are part of the NHS, including the Interstate System and designated connections to major intermodal terminals. NHS Program funds can be used to fund transit improvements in NHS corridors.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development, and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.

HUD promotes sustainable communities by coordinating federal housing and transportation investments with local land use decisions in order to reduce transportation costs for families, improve housing affordability, save energy, and increase access to housing and employment opportunities. By ensuring that housing is located near job centers and affordable, accessible transportation, we will nurture healthier, more inclusive communities -- which provide opportunities for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to live, work, and learn together.

Sustainable Communities

HUD's 2010 appropriations include $150 million for a Sustainable Communities Initiative to improve regional planning efforts that integrate housing and transportation decisions and increase the capacity to improve land use and zoning, and $50 million for an Energy Innovation Fund to enable the Federal Housing Administration and the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities to catalyze innovations in the residential energy efficiency sector that have promise of replicability and help create a standardized home energy efficient retrofit market. These funds will be allocated as follows:

Sustainable Communities Initiative

Energy Innovation Fund

Public and Indian Housing

HOPE VI: The HOPE VI Program provides competitive funding for the eradication of severely distressed public housing developments. Funds can be used for demolition, major rehabilitation, and new construction of public housing; acquisition of sites in other locations for private new construction; and supportive services for those relocated by the program. HOPE VI promotes the creation of mixed-income communities that are dense, pedestrian friendly, and transit accessible. It also encourages high standards of green building for new construction projects through regulation and giving priority to proposals with green features.

Public Housing: The Public Housing Program provides funding to local housing agencies for operating expenses and repairs to public housing developments. Funds are allocated based on the continuing needs of the housing authorities, especially the number of units they own. Public housing agencies are encouraged to use environmentally-responsible practices through regulations and policy guidance and through specific programs like Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). EPC provides funding to make public housing units more energy efficient through energy efficiency, water efficiency, or renewable energy improvements to units. Funding is provided through freezing utility subsidies for up to 20 years; the savings resulting from lower utility costs are then used to repay financing obtained to make the improvements. For every $1 spent on utility efficient improvements under this program, $2.44 in savings will be created.

Housing Choice and Project-Based Vouchers: Housing Choice and Project-Based Voucher Programs provide funding to local public housing agencies for rental subsidies for units that are chosen by the tenant in the private market (Housing Choice Vouchers) or for use in specific developments or units (Project-Based Vouchers). Housing Choice Vouchers allow tenants more flexibility in deciding the location of their residence, giving them more of an opportunity to live closer to work, family, amenities, or services.

Community Planning and Development

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): The CDBG Program provides formula funding directly to larger cities and counties and through state governments for small units of local government. Funds can be used for most kinds of development as long as it meets one of the following national objectives: 1) benefits low- and moderate-income persons; 2) aids in the prevention or elimination of slum and blight; or 3) meets certain community development needs having a particular urgency. CDBG is a flexible program that provides resources to address a wide range of community and economic development needs, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunity.

Section 108 is the loan guarantee provision of the CDBG program that provides public entities loan funds for businesses or other entities to carry out approved economic development, housing, and public facility projects. The public entity may carry out eligible projects itself.

Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI): BEDI is a competitive program used to spur the return of brownfields to productive economic reuse. BEDI grants must be used in conjunction with a new Section 108 loan. Both Section 108 loan proceeds and BEDI grant funds are initially made available by HUD to public entities approved for assistance.

HOME Investment Partnership: The HOME Program provides formula funding directly to larger cities and counties, to consortia of local governments, and to state governments. The HOME program is designed to create affordable housing for low-income households and can take the form of direct assistance or loan guarantees. Funds can be used for most kinds of housing development, including acquisition and rehabilitation in the creation of low-income housing. Additionally HOME program funds can be used for homebuyer assistance and for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS: HOPWA provides formula funding and competitively-awarded grants to states, cities, and nonprofit organizations. Funds can be used to develop and support housing for people with AIDS and may be used for certain supportive services.

Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP): NSP provides some formula funding to states and local governments and some competitive grants to states, local governments, nonprofit entities, or a consortium of nonprofit entities. Funds can be used to acquire and rehabilitate abandoned or foreclosed-upon homes or residential properties in neighborhoods.

Homeless Programs: Homeless Programs provide formula and competitive funding to state and local governments and private nonprofit organizations. Competitive funds are awarded in connection with the Continuum of Care planning group, a community-wide group that plans for and provides services to homeless people. Funds can be used for services and for development of emergency shelters and transitional and permanent housing to serve the homeless.

Rural Innovation Fund: HUD's FY 2010 appropriations include $25 million for a new Rural Innovation Fund to address the problems of concentrated rural housing distress and community poverty.

Federal Housing Administration

Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) and Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811): These programs provide competitive funding to nonprofit agencies developing housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Funds consist of capital grants to assist in the original construction and annual project rental assistance to support operating and maintenance costs to ensure that rents remain affordable to very low-income people.

Mortgage Insurance for Rental Housing: Several FHA mortgage insurance programs can be used to facilitate the new construction and substantial rehabilitation of multifamily rental projects. Some FHA programs can be used to refinance and acquire existing multifamily projects not requiring substantial rehabilitation. These programs include:

Mortgage Insurance for Condominium Units: FHA also insures mortgages on condominium units in developments that are proposed or under construction, existing projects, or conversions. Generally, approval of the condominium project must be obtained from an authorized lender.

Housing Finance Agency Risk Sharing Program: Under this program, HUD provides credit enhancement on loans underwritten and closed by a state or local housing finance agency (HFA). Loans made pursuant to Section 542(c) are for affordable housing which includes new construction, substantial rehabilitation, elderly housing, and refinancing. Eligible owners and purchasers apply for the program through the appropriate HFA.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mission is to protect human health and the environment. Where and how we build communities has a major impact on the environment and on public health. By promoting more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable communities, EPA can help protect our nation's air, water, land, and people. A clean, green, healthy community is a better place to buy a home and raise a family, it's an appealing place for businesses to locate, and it has the foundations it needs for prosperity. Many EPA programs are aimed at helping tribal, state, and local governments support activities that build more sustainable communities and protect human health and the environment.

In addition to the resources listed here, EPA programs offer many tools on a variety of topics that communities may find useful.

Brownfields Remediation and Redevelopment

EPA has a variety of programs to help eligible entities assess, remediate, and restore brownfields sites to productive use and revitalize affected neighborhoods.

Assessment Grant Program: These grants provide funding to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites. Grants are for up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, and up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by petroleum. Applicants can also apply as an Assessment Coalition (a group of three or more eligible entities) for up to $1 million.

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Program: These grants of up to $1 million provide funding to capitalize a revolving loan fund. Revolving loan funds can be used to provide no-interest or low-interest loans and subgrants to eligible entities who own the site to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. RLF grants require a 20 percent cost share.

Cleanup Grant Program: These grants provide funding for a recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites that it owns. Sites may be contaminated by hazardous substances and/or petroleum. Grants are up to $200,000 per site and require a 20 percent cost share.

Brownfields Job Training Grant Program: These grants provide funding to eligible entities and nonprofit organizations to help communities take advantage of jobs created by the assessment and cleanup of brownfields. The Job Training Grant Program's goals are to prepare trainees for future employment in the environmental field and to facilitate cleanup of brownfield sites contaminated with hazardous substances. Grants are for up to $200,000.

Targeted Brownfields Assessments: These assessments are conducted by an EPA contractor, and services can include site assessments, cleanup options and cost estimates, and community outreach. Sites for this program are selected by EPA regional offices. Services can range from several thousand dollars to as much as $100,000.

Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Program: TAB services are provided to communities, regional entities, and nonprofits who need technical assistance dealing with brownfield sites. The program can also assist communities with applying for EPA brownfields grants or identifying other resources to address their brownfield sites.

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across the nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program: This program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations to build collaborative partnerships, to identify the local environmental and/or public health issues, and to envision solutions and empower the community through education, training, and outreach.

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program: This program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working on or planning to work on projects to address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities, using EPA's "Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model."

State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreements Program: This program provides funding so that eligible entities may work collaboratively with affected communities to understand, promote, and integrate approaches to provide meaningful and measurable improvements to the public health and/or environment in the communities.

Environmental Justice Showcase Communities Project: This project provides EPA regional office funding to bring together governmental and non-governmental organizations to pool their resources and expertise on the best ways to achieve real results in communities. The successes and lessons learned in these demonstration projects will be used to help guide the design and implementation of future environmental justice projects and will help EPA increase its ability to address local environmental challenges in more effective, efficient, and sustainable ways.

Toxic Pollution Reduction

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE): CARE is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for a community to organize and take action to reduce toxic pollution in its local environment. Through CARE, a community creates a partnership that implements solutions to reduce releases of toxic pollutants and minimize people's exposure to them. By providing financial and technical assistance, EPA helps CARE communities get on the path to a renewed environment.

Lead Grants: TEPA awards grants aimed at reducing childhood lead poisoning in communities with older housing through the National Community-Based Lead Grant and the Targeted Lead Grant Programs. The projects supported by these grant funds are an important part of EPA's lead program to eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a major public health concern.

Energy Conservation and Renewable and Clean Energy

Energy Efficiency at the State and Local Levels: The State and Local Climate and Energy Program provides technical assistance, analytical tools, and outreach support to state, local, and tribal governments. Specific assistance includes identifying and documenting cost-effective policies and initiatives; measuring and evaluating the benefits of clean energy initiatives; offering tools, guidance, and outreach support; and fostering peer exchange opportunities. The program's web site provides state and local governments with information on energy efficiency and clean energy, including webcasts on a variety of topics.

National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC): NCDC offers a comprehensive program to help fleet owners clean up their diesel fleets. The campaign awards competitive grants through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act to public agencies, eligible nonprofits, and private entities, such as school bus contractors, who partner with eligible entities. NCDC's rigorous verification program evaluates the performance and durability of retrofit technologies and provides a path to verification for emerging technologies. The campaign's innovative programs, such as Clean School Bus USA, Clean Ports USA, and Clean Construction USA, provide sector-specific information, including case studies, technology options, and publications. NCDC's tools and resources include the web-based Diesel Emissions Quantifier to help evaluate the cost-effectiveness of various retrofit options and the State and Local Toolkit to help design, fund, and evaluate emission-reduction programs. In addition, NCDC supports regional private-public collaboratives whose members coordinate to implement a wide array of activities to reduce diesel emissions.

SmartWay Transport Partnership: Under SmartWay, EPA provides web-based analytical tools, technical assistance, innovative financing options, air quality planning guidance, product and vehicle verification and certification, and recognition incentives to help states and municipalities support cleaner goods movement in their communities. SmartWay partners learn how to shrink their carbon footprints and reduce emissions of air pollutants while saving fuel and expanding their businesses. SmartWay's innovative financial options can help trucking firms, municipal fleet managers, and owner-operators serving communities across the country overcome financial obstacles to cleaner, fuel-saving vehicle retrofits and upgrades. Cities can partner with EPA regional offices to recruit city-based freight shippers and carriers into the program, organize events or pilot tools/resources for the local business community, use locomotive and truck idle-reduction strategies to achieve clean air goals, and let businesses and consumers know about lower-polluting, fuel-saving, SmartWay-designated passenger vehicles and commercial trucks.

Smart Growth

EPA's Smart Growth Program offers case studies, research, tools, and publications to help communities learn about and implement smart growth solutions to a wide range of development-related challenges, including transportation and parking, affordable housing, stormwater runoff, zoning codes, infill and redevelopment, and many other issues.

Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) Program: Through the SGIA program, EPA solicits applications from state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity) that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development. Once selected, communities receive direct technical assistance from a team of national experts in one of two areas: policy analysis (e.g., zoning codes, school siting guidelines, transportation policies) or public participatory processes (e.g., visioning, design workshops, alternatives analysis). EPA tailors the assistance to the community's unique situation and priorities and provides the contractor team. This is not a grant. Through a site visit and a report, the multidisciplinary teams help the community achieve its goal of encouraging growth that fosters economic progress and environmental protection. The SGIA Request for Applications is usually open in the first quarter of the year.

Funding Resources: The Smart Growth Program occasionally offers competitive grants. It has also compiled lists of federal, regional, and state resources for communities and non-governmental organizations that are seeking funding to address various aspects of smart growth.

Water Quality

In urban and suburban areas, much of the land surface is covered by buildings, pavement, and compacted landscapes that do not allow rain and snowmelt to soak into the ground, which greatly increases the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff. Upgrading water infrastructure and using green infrastructure techniques can help improve stormwater management to better protect our nation's drinking water and lakes, rivers, streams, and other water bodies.

State Revolving Loan Funds: The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Programs are federal/state partnerships designed to finance the cost of infrastructure needed to achieve compliance with the Clean Water Act. Through the SRFs, states maintain revolving loan funds to provide low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects, such as traditional municipal wastewater treatment and collection systems, nonpoint source program implementation projects, wetlands restoration, groundwater protection, innovative stormwater runoff and estuary management projects, drinking water treatment and conveyance systems, and source water protection. Funds to establish or capitalize the SRF programs are provided through EPA grants to the states, along with state matching funds (equal to 20 percent of federal government grants). Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding, in FY 2010, 20 percent of the federal funds must be targeted to green infrastructure, water-efficiency improvements, energy-efficiency improvement, and environmentally innovative approaches to water quality improvement. and

Green Infrastructure: Green infrastructure is an approach to wet weather management that is cost effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Green infrastructure management approaches and technologies infiltrate, evapotranspire, capture, and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrology. Many of these approaches, including green roofs, rain gardens, green streets, and other innovative stormwater management techniques, can also make neighborhoods safer, healthier, and more attractive. EPA has compiled a list of funding resources to help communities fund green infrastructure projects.

Asset Management: As communities undertake the task of renewing their water infrastructure systems, EPA can offer a suite of practices and approaches to ensure that water infrastructure both supports sustainable communities and can be supported by the communities it serves. One of the keys to sustainable infrastructure is the practice of Asset Management (AM), which provides a platform for making the best, most effective infrastructure investments. EPA offers AM training and a suite of tools to promote adoption and improvement of AM implementation. Multisector AM integrates investments in water, transportation, and housing infrastructure and is being promoted through a Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and DOT.

Nonpoint Source Management Grants: Under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, states receive grant money to support a wide variety of activities to reduce nonpoint source pollution, including techniques related to agriculture, urban runoff, forestry, and the physical modification of water bodies. States directly implement projects as well as provide funds to organizations and local governments to carry out projects that reduce nonpoint source pollution through best management practices, outreach and education, and demonstration of new approaches to improve water quality. These grant monies may not be used to fund activities currently required in a stormwater permit issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act. Each state publishes an annual request for proposals.

For More Information: Regional Points of Contact

U.S. Department of Transportation:

Federal Transit Administration

Region 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) Kendall Square, 55 Broadway, Suite 920, Cambridge, MA 02142-1093, Tel: 617-494-2055
Region 2 (NJ, NY) One Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, NY 10004-1415, Tel: 212-668-2170
Region 3 (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV) 1760 Market Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124, Tel: 215-656-7100
Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, PR, SC, TN, VI) 230 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30303, Tel: 404-865-5600
Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606, Tel: 312-353-2789
Region 6 (AR, LA, OK, NM, TX) T819 Taylor Street, Room 8A36, Ft. Worth, TX 76102, Tel: 817-978-0550
Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE) 901 Locust Street, Room 404, Kansas City, MO 64106, Tel: 816-329-3920
Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) 12300 West Dakota Avenue, Suite 310, Lakewood, CO 80228-2583, Tel: 720-963-3300
Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) 201 Mission Street, Room 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105-1926, Tel: 415-744-3133
Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA) Jackson Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174-1002, Tel: 206-220-7954
U.S. Department of Transportation:
Federal HIGHWAY Administration

The Federal Highway Administration field offices are organized by state. For efforts related to the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, specific FHWA Division Offices have assumed leadership roles for facilitating and organizing efforts within the DOT/HUD/EPA regions. Below is their contact information.

Also, FHWA's Resource Center staff are available for assistance:

Region 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) - Massachusetts Division: 55 Broadway, 10th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142, Tel: 617-494-2419
Region 2 (NJ, NY) - New York Division: Leo O'Brien Federal Building, Clinton Avenue & North Pearl Street, Room 719, Albany, NY 12207, Tel: 518-431-4125
Region 3 (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV) - Pennsylvania Division: 228 Walnut Street, Room 536, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1720, Tel: 717-221-3703
Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, PR, SC, TN, VI) - Georgia Division: 61 Forsyth Street SW, Suite 17T100, Atlanta, GA 30303, Tel: 404-562-3659
Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) - Illinois Division: 3250 Executive Park Drive, Springfield, IL 62703, Tel: 217-492-4642
Region 6 (AR, LA, OK, NM, TX) - Texas Division: Federal Office Building, 300 East 8th Street, Austin, TX 78701, Tel: 512-536-5952
Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE) - Missouri Division: 3220 West Edgewood, Suite H, Jefferson City, MO 65109, Tel: 573-638-2620
Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) - Colorado Division: 12300 W. Dakota Avenue, Suite 180, Lakewood, CO 80228, Tel: 720-963-3016
Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) - California Division: 650 Capitol Mall, Suite 4-100, Sacramento, CA 95814, Tel: 916-498-5866
Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA) - Washington Division: 711 South Capitol Way, Suite 501, Olympia, WA 98501-1284, Tel: 360-753-9413


Region 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) 10 Causeway Street, Room 301, Boston, MA 02222-1092, Tel: 617-994-8200
Region 2 (NJ, NY) T26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3541, New York, NY 10278-0068, Tel: 212-264-8000
Region 3 (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV) 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3380, Tel: 215-656-0500
Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, PR, SC, TN, VI) 40 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30303-2806, Tel: 404-331-5001
Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604-3507, Tel: 312-353-5680
Region 6 (AR, LA, OK, NM, TX) T801 Cherry Street, Unit #45, Suite 2500, Ft. Worth, TX 76102, Tel: 817-978-5965
Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE) 400 State Avenue, Room 507, Kansas City, KS 66101-2406, Tel: 913-551-5462
Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) 1670 Broadway, 25th Floor, Denver, CO 80202, Tel: 303-672-5440
Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) 600 Harrison Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107-1300, Tel: 415-489-6400
Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA) 909 First Avenue Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98104-1000, Tel: 206-220-5101


Region 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912, Tel: 617-918-1111
Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI) 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866, Tel: 212-637-3000
Region 3 (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV) 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029, Tel: 215-814-5000
Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN) Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303-3104, Tel: 404-562-9900
Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604-3507, Tel: 312-353-2000
Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX) Fountain Place, 12th Floor, Suite 1200, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202-2733, Tel: 214-665-2200
Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE) 901 North 5th Street, Kansas City, KS 66101, Tel: 913-551-7003
Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129, Tel: 303-312-6312
Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, Pacific Islands) 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, Tel: 415-947-8000
Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA) 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101, Tel: 206-553-1200

HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership | DOT Livability | FTA Livable & Sustainable Communities
Updated: 1/31/2017
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