Grant closed. Applications were due in April 2021.

Grants for improving air quality in areas of concern for environmental justice

Dollar sign to highlight MPCA financial assistance such as grants and loansMPCA offered approximately $130,000 for projects that will reduce air emissions within an identified area of concern for environmental justice.

Closed. Application deadline was April 30

  • Eligible applicants: Businesses under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, tribes, or nongovernmental organizations (e.g., nonprofit or association) with any number of employees.
  • Maximum grant award: $25,000 per applicant.
  • Match: Projects completed by the applicant at the applicant business have a match requirement of 25%, meaning the grant recipient would match at least 25% of the total project cost. Applicants applying for funding to work with outside businesses do not have a match requirement.

Background

Icon showing a city skyline and freeway with trafficEvery day, employees and residents around the state breathe the air pollution that results from facility processes. Exposure to theses pollutants can affect everyone’s health, from employees to the members of the surrounding community. While the state has seen overall reductions in air pollution, some areas of Minnesota are disproportionately impacted. As outlined in the report The air we breathe: The state of Minnesota’s air quality in 2021, Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income residents are more likely to live near industrial facilities and other sources of harmful air pollution. Ninety-three percent of communities of color and Indigenous communities and sixty-six percent of low-income communities are above risk guidelines.

Many small businesses, governmental agencies, educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations who work within these areas have opportunities to use different equipment, update their processes, or switch to cleaner products to save money and protect the health of their employees and neighbors but need a cost-share incentive to make these changes. To help take the leap and improve their environmental stewardship, the MPCA is offering this grant funding.