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HomeNewsLocal newsEPA Awards VIEO a $500,000 Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant

EPA Awards VIEO a $500,000 Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant

Strategies are being directly invested to reduce climate pollution and build clean energy economy across the US Virgin Islands through the ground-breaking Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the U.S Environmental Protection Agency announced.

EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia joined Virgin Islands Energy Office Director Kyle D. Fleming, and others Thursday to celebrate the official award of a half million dollars to the Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) under EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program, a program funded through IRA.

Earlier this year, EPA awarded a $500,000 Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant to the VIEO, which will provide support for the USVI’s climate planning process. VIEO will use the planning grant to design a climate action plan for USVI that may include a variety of measures to reduce GHG emissions from across key sectors. Those sectors include electricity generation, industry, transportation, buildings, agriculture/natural and working lands, and waste management, according to the press release.

This award will help USVI identify greenhouse gas reduction opportunities and quantify the benefits of energy efficiency programs, the press release stated.

“Caribbean islands have unique opportunities to tackle climate change which is why EPA is happy to be here in St. Thomas to celebrate with the Virgin Islands Energy Office receiving this planning grant,” said Garcia.

“People living in the U.S. Virgin Islands understand the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emission sources and this funding is an important step forward in our joint efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change,” she said.

“The Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant award marks a transformative step forward for the U.S. Virgin Islands in our fight against climate change. The program is not just an investment in our environment but a commitment to our future. I am immensely proud of the Virgin Islands Energy Office and VIEO Director Fleming for securing this planning grant, which will aid in creating a more sustainable and resilient Virgin Islands,” said Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett.

“The US Virgin Islands are situated on the front lines of climate change and face the most immediate and severe consequences of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and environmental degradation,” said Fleming.

“Strategically planning and implementing effective pollution reduction strategies is not merely an option but a critical imperative for the territory’s sustainable development. Through the successful award of the CPRG planning funds, the Virgin Islands Energy Office strives to be the catalyst of safeguarding our vulnerable ecosystem while preserving our economic viability and cultural heritage for generations to come,” he said.

In September 2023, EPA launched a $4.6 billion competition for the second phase of the CPRG program, the Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants. This funding can be used to implement projects and initiatives identified in the Priority Climate Action Plans that were developed by CPRG planning grant recipients. Approximately $300 million will be specifically reserved for Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants for territories and Indian Nations. The VIEO and other territorial agencies will be eligible to receive this implementation funding because USVI has opted in to receive the planning grant, the release stated.

To learn more about the CPRG Program, click here.

To learn more about CPRG training, tools, and technical assistance, click here.

Follow EPA Region 2 on X and visit Facebook.

For more information about EPA Region 2, visit the official website.

For further information contact Iris M. Crawford  by email at Crawford.iris@epa.gov or phone at 347-908-3374.




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