Grant closed. Applications were due May 2020.

Grants for solvent and coating emission reductions

Finishing operations can be improved to reduce pollution.

The MPCA sought applications from small businesses, governmental agencies, educational institutions and nongovernmental organizations for $25,000 in grant funding to switch to alternative solvents and coatings that result in measurable reductions in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or to purchase equipment that reduces the use of VOC-containing solvents and coatings.

Closed. The application deadline was May 29, 2020 (4 p.m.)

  • Eligible applicants: Businesses with under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, tribes, or nongovernmental organizations (e.g., nonprofit or industry association).
  • Eligible operations or processes include but are not limited to automotive repair, auto body, manufacturing, coating operations, wood working and finishing, and painting.
  • Maximum grant award: $3,000 per application with a 50% required minimum match.

Grants can be combined with low- to zero-percent interest Small Business Environmental Improvement Loans up to $75,000 for capital equipment purchases that help meet or exceed environmental regulations. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.

Application questions

Applicants who have any questions regarding this RFP must email questions to, subject line: “Solvent and Coating Emission Reductions grant question.”

Answers to questions will be posted frequently on the MPCA website.


VOCs contribute to poor air quality where we live and work. Opportunities to reduce VOCs exist and changes may reduce costs related to permitting, licensing or disposal. However, businesses may need a cost-share incentive to make these changes. The MPCA is offering up this grant funding to help interested organizations take the leap and improve their environmental stewardship.

Common finishing processes include the application of products such as primers, paints, topcoats, stains, varnishes, sealants, solvents, and component parts such as hardeners or catalysts.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from these finishing products contribute to poor air quality where we live and work. These emissions can be reduced through the use of improved finishes such as:

  • Wet-coat, low-VOC, low-HAP, high solids, and water-based products
  • Dry, powder coating
  • Ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) cured products
  • Liquid plastic coating products
  • Other non-wet coat finishes
  • High efficiency equipment

Over $650,000 in grants have already been provided to help businesses make the switch. The new products and equipment will reduce air emissions by approximately 24 tons of VOCs within the first year of use.