NRCM - Natural Resources Council of Maine

05/30/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/30/2023 10:23

Guide to Federal Funding Opportunities for Mainers

Mainers are eager to do the right thing for the environment in their homes, businesses, and communities. Installing clean energy solutions like solar or heat pumps saves money and reduces pollution. Thankfully, with the recent passage of legislation such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), there is a lot of funding available from the federal government to jumpstart our efforts.

Federal funding has already allowed Maine to successfully complete a number of climate and clean energy projects. Working together with our supporters, the Natural Resources Council of Maine successfully advocated for the largest investment in climate in U.S. history and billions in infrastructure funding to make our communities more resilient. Much of that money is now becoming available.

Below are some* of the federal funding opportunities we've been tracking that could be relevant to your community, family, or business. Application periods vary by program, so while all items listed are open at the time this blog is published, we encourage you to visit the links below for more information about key dates and deadlines.

*This is not a comprehensive list, but we will add to it as additional opportunities become available.

Funding Opportunities


  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced at least $400 million in grants for the Clean School Bus Program.This is the first round of funding available as grants and follows the nearly $1 billion that was awarded last year through the rebate competition to fund electric and low-emission school buses.
  • Clean School Bus Webinars-EPA will host a series of public webinars from May through August to provide potential applicants with an overview of the program and how to apply.

Planning and Resiliency ️

  • EPA announced guidance for the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants, which will provide nearly $4.9 billion in grants to states, local governments, tribes, and territories to develop and implement plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution.
  • Application period for interested tribes and territories (view guidance) closes June 15, 2023 (application period for state and local governments has closed)
  • The Department of Commerce (DOC) recommended $562 million in funding to make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change. The awards include $477 million for 149 nature-based infrastructure projects in 30 coastal states and territories, including $7.6 million for Maine.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Highway Administration opened applications for $848 millionin the first round of competitive grant funding to make roads, bridges, transit, rail, and ports more resilient to climate change.

Environmental Justice and Community Support

  • $550 million is available through the new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) Program. The program is a competition to select approximately 11 grantmakers around the nation to reduce barriers to the federal grants application process communities face and increase the efficiency of the awards process for environmental justice grants.

Conservation and Restoration

  • The Department of Interior (DOI) announced a $125 million investmentto restore the nation's lands and waters. There are two projects in Maine, both in Acadia National Park, totaling $600,000. View full project list.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOI announced New Steps for Climate Resilience and Forest Conservationwith actions to foster forest conservation, enhance forest resilience to climate change, and inform policymaking on ensuring healthy forests on federally managed lands administered by the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)opened a Notice of Funding Availabilitythis week for the new $350 million Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, designed to improve habitat connectivity and make roads safer for both people and wildlife.
  • On Endangered Species Day, the DOI announced $62.5 million in fundsfor endangered species recovery, provided through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Young moose by Gerard Monteux

Clean Energy ⚡


  • The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $250 million funding opportunity to boost domestic production of heat pumps,using new authorization to utilize the Defense Production Act.
  • DOE is making administrative moneyavailable to support states as they prepare to administer the upcoming home energy rebate programs funded by the IRA. State specific allocations are here. Funding set aside for tribal nations will be available following completion of the ongoing tribal consultation process.

Heat pump installation

Clean Water

  • EPA announced$775 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support priority water infrastructure projects and upgrades that will help local economies and ensure communities have clean, safe water for residents.

Announcements and Resources ℹ️