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Advance Program

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2015 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding Opportunity - EPA is now accepting applications until October 30, 2015 from school bus fleet owners for rebates to replace and retrofit older school buses in both the public and private fleets. An estimated $7 million is available. More information. EPA will offer a webinar for interested applicants on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at 2pm EDT. Click here to register.  

Making a Visible Difference in Communities Program – Several Advance areas will receive technical support from EPA over the next two years to help address environmental and public health challenges.  Advance areas that will receive this support include communities in DE, KS, LA, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NV, TX, and VA.  More Information

Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance – Selected communities will work with experts to develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. Apply by Sept. 15, 2015. Application Form

Global Green Technical Assistance – Support will be provided to local and tribal governments interested in creating greener, more equitable, and more vibrant neighborhoods. A sustainable neighborhood assessment tool based on the LEED for Neighborhood Development standard will be used. This free assistance is being provided under an EPA grant.  Apply by July 17, 2015. Application Form]

EPA Tribal Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program – EPA’s Request for Proposals is open until July 15, 2015; an estimated $1 million is available.  The funds may be used for verified diesel emission control technologies that reduce emissions from a wide variety of diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment.  More information

USDA Funds for Conservation Projects - Approximately $225 million is available to local, state, and tribal governments and others for projects that balance natural resource objectives with operational goals in order to benefit soil, water, wildlife, and related natural resources (including air quality).  Proposals should demonstrate solutions, contributions, innovation, and participation.
Pre-proposals are due July 8, 2015.  Learn more

Better Buildings Challenge – Several Advance areas are participating in this Dept. of Energy program, which supports job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades.  Consider joining or utilizing the program resources (webinars, case studies, videos, etc.)  More information

Building Energy Codes Program – This Dept. of Energy program supports greater adoption of residential and commercial building energy codes through collaborative efforts with local governments and industry groups, and by providing key tools and assistance for building energy code development, adoption, and implementation.  Guidance and technical resources

Open EPA Grant Opportunities

Advance Webinar Recording Available This webinar highlighted the experience of the Austin, Texas area with early air quality planning, including as a participant in Ozone Advance. It covered how the Austin area has set goals, engaged stakeholders, conducted outreach, and tracked/quantified local commitments. It also identified the types of local measures that are currently being pursued in Austin. Access recording


The Advance Program is a collaborative effort between EPA, states, tribes, and local governments.  The program encourages expeditious emission reductions in ozone and fine particle (PM2.5) attainment areas to help these areas continue to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The steps taken by program participants could:

  1. Help attainment areas reduce emissions in order to ensure continued health protection,
  2. Better position areas to remain in attainment, and
  3. Efficiently direct available resources toward actions to address ozone and fine particle problems quickly.

Basic Information - More information about the Advance Program

Eligibility - Who is eligible to participate

Participation - How to participate

Participants - Areas that have agreed to take proactive steps towards improving air quality

Measures and Programs - Actions participants can take

Resources - Useful information for participants

Frequent Questions - Frequently asked questions about the Advance Program

Map showing areas participating in Ozone and PM Advance

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