Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program (EJ TCGM)


The goals of this program are to make awards for the design and management of a new Environmental Justice (EJ) competitive pass-through program where EPA will competitively select pass-through entities to provide grant funds via subawards to community-based nonprofit organizations, underserved and disadvantaged communities, and other EJ community stakeholders. Per the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR200.74), a pass-through entity is defined as a non-Federal entity that provides a subaward to a subrecipient to carry out part of a federal program. Under this program, EPA plans to award 5 - 11 cooperative agreements in FY 23 to pass-through entities (referred to as Grantmakers by the program) who will collaborate with EPA to design and build their own processes to receive and evaluate competitive community project applications from communities and community stakeholders addressing local environmental and/or public health issues impacting underserved and disadvantaged communities. The Grantmaking program strives to increase the access Eligible Subrecipients have to funding, as well as reduce the burden of the federal grants application process on underserved and disadvantaged communities. As a result, community-based nonprofit organizations and other EJ stakeholders will be better positioned to advance and address EJ issues nationwide. This will lead to progress towards achieving the objectives of Executive Order 13985, "Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government," and Executive Order 14008, "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,", as well as the Justice40 Initiative.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2023 A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), EPA-R-OEJECR-OCS-23-23, was issued on February 3, 2023 and closed June 30, 2023. EPA received 82 applications in response to the NOFO.
EPA's Annual Appropriations Acts
Clean Air Act (CAA), Section 138, 42 U.S.C. 7438
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The entities eligible to apply under this assistance listing to serve as a Grantmaker are as follows: o a community-based nonprofit organization* or o a partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations* or a partnership between*-- an Indian tribe and a community-based nonprofit organization o a partnership between*-- an institution of higher education and a community-based nonprofit organization. Consistent with the definition of Nonprofit organization at 2 CFR 200.1, the term "nonprofit organization means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is operated mainly for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purpose in the public interest and is not organized primarily for profit; and uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operation of the organization. Note that 2 CFR 200.1 specifically excludes Institutions of Higher Education from the definition of non-profit organization because they are separately defined in the regulation. While not considered to be a nonprofit organization(s) as defined by 2 CFR 200.1, public or nonprofit Institutions of Higher Education are, nevertheless, eligible to submit applications under this assistance listing. For-profit colleges, universities, trade schools, and hospitals are ineligible. Eligible nonprofit organizations may, but are not required to be, exempt from taxation under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code. Workforce Investment Boards and organized Labor Unions that meet these criteria may be eligible nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply. For certain competitive funding opportunities under this assistance listing, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy. NOTE: This assistance listing is not for community applicants to apply for an EJ Grant directly from EPA. Community applicants should apply to opportunities available through Assistance Listings 66.306 , 66.312, 66.309, and 66.604 for an EPA EJ grant administered directly by EPA. The solicitations under this assistance listing will be to select the pass-through entities (Grantmakers) who will manage their own EJ Thriving Communities Grant (subaward) program in collaboration with EPA over the next 3 years. Those seeking funds to conduct a community project in a specific community may not apply under these competitions.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
As part of the eligibility requirements under this assistance listing, partnerships must be documented with a signed Letter of Commitment from the community-based organization detailing the parameters of the partnership, as well as the role and responsibilities of the community-based organization.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372, except as it relates to land planning activities. Regarding pre-application assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this assistance listing, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement. For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed in the NOFO.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through Grants.gov.
Award Procedure
For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the NOFO. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.
For competitive awards, deadlines will be specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days.
Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be found at: https://www.epa.gov/grants/grant-competition-dispute-resolution-procedures. Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this assistance listing will be described in the NOFO.
How may assistance be used?
Grants and cooperative agreements are available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incident to approved cooperative agreements plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Reporting requirements will be determined at the time of award.
Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, and other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year.
Recipients must keep financial records, including all documents supporting entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes in grants available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipients grants and cooperative agreements records. Recipients must maintain all records until 3 years from the date of submission of final expenditure reports as required by 2 CFR 200.334. If questions, such as those raised because of audits remain following the 3-year period, recipients must retain records until the matter is completely resolved.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Cooperative agreements will be awarded with periods of performance of three years as required by section 138(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act. Funds will be awarded incrementally throughout the three-year period of performance, depending on funding availability, the quality of applications, satisfactory progress, and other applicable considerations.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Jacob Burney, Division Director, Grants Management Division
Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460 USA
Phone: 202-564-2907
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $550,000,000.00; FY 24 est $0.00; FY 21$0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Total funding available in FY 23 is expected to be up to approximately $550 million in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding. This funding will be provided through 5 - 11 incrementally funded cooperative agreement awards with periods of performance of three years with total funding of approximately $50 million per award (for a single geographic area).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR Part 1500 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Federal Agency Regulations for Grants and Agreements); 40 CFR Part 33 (Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in United States Environmental Protection Agency Programs).
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources