Senator Sheldon Whitehouse voted in support of a Senate resolution expressing disapproval of the Trump administration’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter asking the USDA to help the state track, prevent, and respond to EEE.

The Government Accountability Office released a report that shows the federal government could be doing more to confront the global marine debris crisis affecting American coastal communities and businesses.

Senate Committees approved the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act

The Senator Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed Senator Whitehouse’s Clean Industrial Technology Act (CITA).  CITA would support research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources, and help make American companies more competitive in the global economy.

Time To Wake Up: China.  Watch it here.

Senator Whitehouse urged the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase federal assistance for Rhode Island to help contain and combat EEE. 

July was the hottest month ever recorded, according to NOAA.  So it’s Time To Wake Up: We Did Start The Fire.  Watch it here

Listen to and watch Senator Whitehouse’s remarks in the Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Senator Whitehouse questions Aurelia Skipwith, nominee to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse joined his colleagues in submitting comments to the White House Council on Environmental Quality regarding its proposed guidance on consideration of greenhouse gas emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act.

A recap of a trip to Wyoming.  Time To Wake Up: Wyoming.  Watch it here.

Funding And Other Opportunities

Please let us know if your RI-based entity submits an application for a federal grant.  If you send us a narrative/summary with grant details, we can submit letters of support. We will continue to send FYIs about grant opportunities as we see them.

Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Find funding opportunities here

Environmental Protection Agency

Toxics Release Inventory

EPA published the preliminary Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data about chemical releases, waste management and pollution prevention activities that took place during 2018 at more than 20,000 federal and industrial facilities across the country.  The 2018 TRI Preliminary Dataset is now available online at https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/2018-tri-preliminary-dataset.

Brownfields Grants

EPA released a Request for Applications – FY 2020 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant GuidelinesThe deadline to submit an application is December 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM.  EPA New England will offer sessions in each of the six New England States to assist potential applicants of FY2020 Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants in writing their proposals.  The RI session will be held on Monday, October 28, 2019 at the RI Department of Environmental Management, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI.  The session will run from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.  At the session, EPA New England Brownfields Staff will provide key points for writing a competitive application and answer any questions you may have for preparing your grant application.  There will be two separate breakout sessions, one for the Assessment Guidelines and one for the Cleanup Guidelines.  For potential Revolving Loan Fund applicants, EPA New England is  planning an informational webinar – details to follow.  If you are interested in applying for more than one type of grant, EPA New England staff suggests that you have two people attend.  To register for one of these events, go to the Registration Page.  Due to space limitations, registration will be on a first come first served basis.

School Bus Rebates: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

EPA announced the availability of approximately $10 million in rebates to public school bus fleet owners to help them replace older school buses.  EPA will accept applications from Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, to Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

To learn more about the rebate program, applicant eligibility, selection process and informational webinar dates, visit: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

On October 4, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) published a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise regulations implementing sections 201 and 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. The agency states that the regulations implementing the Act have not been updated since the time of its enactment, and therefore do not take into consideration changes in the energy industry as it has grown and modernized. The proposed rule grants the sates various flexibilities with respect to energy rates, modifies electric utilities’ obligation to purchase from qualified facilities, and modifies the “one-mile rule” in addition to various other proposed changes. The Commission has stated that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Written comments are due by December 3, 2019.


Public Assistance Guide

FEMA Seeks Comment for Public Assistance Guide.  The fourth edition of the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide is scheduled for publication in January 2020.  FEMA is releasing the updated draft version for a 45-day public comment period. The draft guide and accompanying comments matrix is located on the FEMA websiteFEMA will accept public comments submitted through Nov. 18.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

The application period for FEMA’s Fiscal Year 2019 Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants under the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) programs is now open. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the FEMA Mitigation eGrants system on the FEMA Grants PortalAll applications must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 31, 2020.

For FY19, a total of $410 million in funding is available through HMA’s two competitive grant programs, FMA and PDM.

  • For the FMA program, FEMA’s predetermined funding priorities include flood mitigation planning and efforts for repetitive as well as severe repetitive loss properties. In this application cycle, $160 million in funds are available. View the FY19 FMA Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and Fact Sheet for more information: www.fema.gov/flood-mitigation-assistance-grant-program.
  • The PDM program is designed to implement a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program with the goal of reducing overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events. For FY19, FEMA has set aside $20 million of the $250 million in PDM funding for federally-recognized tribes. View the FY19 PDM NOFO and Fact Sheet for more information: www.fema.gov/pre-disaster-mitigation-grant-program.

FEMA’s two competitive mitigation grant programs provide states, tribes, and territories funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damages.

The Fiscal Year 2019 hazard mitigation funding cycle represents a critical transition year for pre-disaster mitigation grants. One of the most substantive provisions of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 is Section 1234, which authorizes FEMA to develop a new pre-disaster mitigation program that is funded by a 6 percent set-aside from federal disaster assistance for each major disaster declaration. This new program, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), will allow FEMA to support states and communities to undertake new and innovative infrastructure projects that reduce the risks they face from disasters. FEMA is already using the BRIC funding mechanism to advance its objective of increasing the nation’s resilience by making $250 million available for the FY19 PDM Program.

Federal Transit Administration

FTA will host a webinar from 2-3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 30, for potential applicants and other stakeholders interested in the Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning. The webinar will provide an overview of the program, describe eligible applicants and projects, and offer an opportunity to ask questions.  FTA announced a $19.2 million TOD program funding opportunity on Sept. 18, 2019. The application period will close on November 18, 2019.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Find out about NFWF funding opportunities.


Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.  Read the proposed rule  as published in the Federal Register, and submit your comments through the online portal.  You may also submit comments through regular mail to: Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Please mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on the Proposed Rule for Herring Amendment 8.”  Comments are due by November 25, 2019.

Marine Debris

NOAA announced its FY 2020 “Marine Debris Prevention” federal funding opportunity. Prevention projects funded through the grant competition will actively engage and educate a target audience (such as students, teachers, industries, or the public) in hands-on programs designed to raise awareness, provide practical approaches, reduce barriers, and encourage and support changes in behaviors to ensure long-term prevention of marine debris. 

The Letter of Intent (LOI) submission period for prevention projects will extend from September 17 to November 5, 2019. Applicants who submit successful LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal following the LOI review period.  NOAA will select projects through a rigorous and highly competitive merit review process, with awards announced in the late summer of 2020.

This FY 20 Marine Debris Prevention federal funding opportunity is in addition to the FY 20 Marine Debris Removal federal funding opportunity announced last July. For more information on FY 2020 grant opportunities, please visit Grants.gov and the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website.


The Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I Request for Applications has been published and is now available for public viewing. Deadlines are 5:00 P.M. Eastern, FY20: October 23, 2019 and FY21: October 1, 2020.

USDA released the FY 2020 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications.  Complete applications must be submitted on www.Grants.gov, by 11:59pm ET on December 13, 2019.


USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the launch of the updated Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Potential partners are encouraged to submit proposals that will improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

USDA is accepting proposals for RCPP through Dec. 3, 2019. For more information on applying, visit the RCPP webpage or view the Application for Program funding on grants.gov.  Rhode Island partners may contact Brunilda Velez at 401-822-8820 or brunilda.velez@usda.gov with questions.