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Puerto Rico gets $3M from EPA, DNER for innovative climate projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) announced that Puerto Rico will receive $3 million to plan innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the commonwealth.

In March, the EPA announced the availability of the funds, which represent the first funding going to states, local governments, tribes and territories from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program created by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Later this year, the EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in funding to implement projects and initiatives included in the plans. Puerto Rico will be eligible to receive that implementation funding because it has opted in to receive the planning grant.

The San Juan metro area is among the 67 most populous metropolitan areas in the nation with the opportunity to receive $1 million each to develop regional planning grants with key stakeholders in their area, the EPA said.

Lead agencies in these metropolitan areas must submit a notice of intent to participate by April 28. Communities that do not rank in the top 67 most populous areas will have opportunities to partner with their states and neighboring jurisdictions.

“Puerto Rico has signed on to a historic opportunity to invest in planning for ways to reduce climate pollution, boost renewable energy, create jobs and support communities most vulnerable to climate change impacts,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. 

“The decision to opt into this historic program now is so important because once the planning is completed there is an opportunity this year for even more funding to start implementing the work on the ground,” she said.

“In addition to this funding for all of Puerto Rico, the San Juan metro area also has until April 28 to sign on to receive $1 million for climate planning under this same program,” she said.

Puerto Rico, the 50 states, and the District of Columbia were each eligible to receive $3 million in EPA CPRG planning funds.

Puerto Rico will use the funds to augment climate planning in collaboration with municipalities and conduct meaningful engagement with communities, including with overburdened communities.

In 2019, Puerto Rico passed the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, which set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. The act sets interim goals of 40% renewables by 2025 and 60% by 2040. , The EPA said Puerto Rico’s participation in the CPRG program will support its ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, establish a reliable and carbon-neutral power grid and ensure all communities equitably benefit in the clean energy transition.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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