Events and Opportunities

Events and Webinars 

New EPA Webcast Series on Funding & Financing Local Government Clean Energy Programs

In May and June, EPA's Local Government Climate and Energy Program will host a three-part webcast series about funding and financing clean energy programs.

  • May 16, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT) Part I: Getting Started: Answering Big Picture Funding Questions
    Many local governments are investing in clean energy programs to meet their energy, environmental, and economic policy goals. In this post-ARRA world, they're also asking how they should fund these clean energy programs. This introductory webinar will cover the big picture questions that local governments should consider. What resources are available? What are the program priorities? How can these programs pay for themselves? What funding is available? This webinar will guide local governments through these and other questions in the context of their own unique circumstances and illustrate the concepts through case studies that explore how local governments have used both conventional and unconventional methods to gain support, line up partners, and design and implement their funding programs.
  • May 30, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT) Part II: Getting it Funded: Finding Funding for your Clean Energy Programs
    Part II of this webinar series explores the holy grail of local government program design: finding sources of funding. This fast-paced presentation will cover seed funding versus sustainable funding, funding that can be used up versus what must be repaid, sources of revenue, and more. Local government case studies will demonstrate how to identify and understand the sources of funding, including grants, energy savings, partnering with the private sector, fees and taxes, leasing agreements, and bonds.
  • June 13, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT) Part III: Keeping it Going: Financing Options for your Clean Energy Programs
    It's one thing to secure initial funding to launch a clean energy program; it's another to implement smart financing mechanisms that can help leverage existing funds and make clean energy investments more affordable for clean energy program audiences (residential, commercial, and municipal sectors). In Part III of this webinar series, learn how to choose and implement financing options that meet local needs. Hear from local governments about successful programs using a variety of financing models. Also learn about new resources from EPA that can help identify and design financing programs that are specific to a community's needs: the Financing Program Decision Tool (, and Clean Energy Financing Programs: A Decision Resource for States and Communities (

June 6-8, Denver, CO - Urban Sustainability Leadership Academy: Creating, Leading and Managing Change

The Urban Sustainability Leadership Academy (USLA) is a peer-learning and training program specifically designed to help sustainability directors and managers in local governments throughout North America strengthen their efforts to catalyze, lead and manage sustainability offices, programs and initiatives. This USLA workshop will bring together 30-40 senior local government sustainability directors and managers for an intensive peer-learning and training experience focused on high-priority challenges such as building relationships and trust; integrating across disciplines and collaborating across sectors; making the case to internal and external stakeholders; and financing and sustaining sustainability.
Registration, travel, lodging and most meals will be provided.

Interested senior local government sustainability directors and managers should submit online applications -- due by Wednesday April 11th.

June 12, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT) - Effective Strategies for Engaging Your Community on Sustainability

During this session participants will learn techniques to develop effective messaging for livability and sustainable development projects. Presenters will share do's and don'ts related to getting the message out via traditional and social media and strategies for communicating your message to the general public. Participants will engage in interactive role-play exercises to test these new skills.  This session is sponsored by the NADO Research Foundation and the National Association of Counties.

June 13, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT) - What Public Transit Means for Public Health

Explore how public transit may impact health, via increased physical activity, improved air quality and reduced risk of injuries from crashes. Hear about health impact assessments that estimated how increased spending on public transportation and sustainable modes of transportation can both benefit health and reduce social inequities.

Introductory remarks by APHA Associate Executive Director Susan Polan, PhD, and presentations by:

  • Tracy Buck, MS, RD, Nashville Metro Public Health
  • Brian Cole, DrPH, UCLA School of Public Health

June 14, 2:00-3:15 (EDT) - Financing Energy Efficient Upgrade with ENERGY STAR

Sponsored by ENERGY STAR, this webcast will cover how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA's tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.

June 14, 2:30-4:00 PM (EDT) - A New Approach to Transportation and Housing Development

The Center for Neighborhood Technology has developed a Housing and Transportation Affordability Index, which calculates housing affordability not just in terms of housing costs but also considering the transportation costs associated with a home's location. This webinar will share the methodology of the development of the tool and several replicable ways it has been used in municipalities across the U.S.

June 19, 3:30 - 4:00 PM (EDT) - Food Marketing 101

The need to limit unhealthy food marketing to children has never been more urgent. Food companies spend $2 billion annually to reach children through television, the Internet, mobile phones, product placement in movies and television, toys, and anywhere else a logo or product image can be shown. Aggressive, widespread food marketing undermines parents' attempts to feed their children healthfully.

In this webinar, presenters will discuss different types of food marketing to children, policy options for dealing with marketing, evidence linking food marketing with children's poor diets and health, and the effectiveness of industry self-regulation.


  • Samantha Graff, JD (Moderator), Director of Legal Research, NPLAN, a project of ChangeLab Solutions
  • Margo Wootan, DSc, Director of Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Mary Story, PhD, RD, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

June 26-27, Denver, CO - Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities

The Summit is an opportunity to network with fellow state and local leaders and decision-makers in a forum showcasing how the Better Buildings Challenge Partners are achieving the benefits of energy efficiency in public buildings and within local communities.  Participants will learn innovative strategies and models for adopting and implementing clean energy solutions in their communities that save money, create jobs, increase energy security and protect the environment. 

Topics of conference sessions will include:

  • Making the business case for increasing the energy efficiency in buildings
  • Designing the critical elements of a successful program based on models from existing Better Buildings Challenge Partners and other effective programs
    • Driving Demand for Energy Efficiency Projects
    • Financing Options
    • Policy Development and Adoption
    • Managing Data for Results
    • Leveraging Partnerships and Stakeholder Relationships
  • Implementing a program to successfully achieve the goal!

To register for the Summit, please visit the conference registration page or email

June 27, 2:30-3:45 PM EDT - The Future of Water Infrastructure Funding

Local governments construct, operate, and maintain the vast amount of the country's water infrastructure networks, essential for economic development and quality of life in our communities.  Cities and counties face a backlog of water infrastructure projects and the federal contribution to help meet those needs has declined over the past several decades.  This webinar will give an overview of the problem, why alternative mechanisms of funding water infrastructure are needed, as well as examine specific proposals pending in Congress.

June 28, 2:00pm (EDT) - Streamlining Code Compliance

Streamlining building code compliance procedures has been shown to improve service delivery, and provide financial savings for local governments and private industry. Improving the administrative process also allows staff to focus on thorough plan review and inspections, which is crucial to improving compliance rates. Join industry experts and local practitioners discuss ways that technology can improve permitting processes and remove overlap in the development and approval process.

July 9-11, Arlington, Virginia - Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation

This conference aims to engage administrators and implementers of residential energy efficiency programs, including state and local governments and Better Buildings Neighborhood Program grant recipients. The objective of the conference is to:

  • Showcase innovations, highlight accomplishments, and spark connections across residential energy efficiency programs.
  • Capture and share diverse program implementation solutions, strategies, and techniques.
  • Highlight effective approaches to residential energy efficiency market transformation.

The event will feature sessions on successful program innovations, lessons, and approaches on topics including driving demand for energy upgrades, financing options, engaging partners, sustainable business models, and other strategies for success.

Registration for the event is free. For additional information, visit the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Website, or contact the conference organizers.

July 14-17, New York City - Greater & Greener: Re-Imagining Parks for 21st Century Cities

Greater & Greener: Re-Imagining Parks for 21st Century Cities is an international urban parks conference that aims to increase awareness of the positive impact that parks and green spaces have on our urban communities and explore how urban parks will be designed, developed, programmed, funded and sustained to meet future demands.

Presented by City Parks Alliance, the Greater & Greener conference is the premier forum for park innovation, offering forward-looking topics and speakers, interactive in-the-field workshops and tours, a volunteer service project and an audience of urban park planning, and design professionals, advocates and supporters from around the world.

July 26, 2:30 PM ET - Innovative Models for Job Creation: Evergreen Cooperatives

The Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, Ohio, are employee-owned, for-profit companies that strive to create meaningful green jobs and keep financial resources within Cleveland. Workers of the Evergreen Cooperative businesses (Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Ohio Cooperative Solar and Green City Growers) earn a living wage and build equity in their firms as owners of the business.  Webinar will focus on the principles, programming and financing of these innovative models of job creation, wealth building and sustainability.

August 22, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) - What Health Impact Assessments Can Do for Health Inequities

The health impact assessment, or HIA, is gaining huge momentum as a tool to address the social and environmental determinants of health, particularly on transportation-related projects and policies. Learn about HIAs conducted on transportation corridors with high rates of poverty and unemployment, on a new public transportation line and on a city's master plan. Some of the most important health risks or outcomes addressed are healthy food availability, physical activity through multi-modal transportation and safety.

Presentations by:

  • Alyssa Auvinen, RiverStone Health
  • Karen Nikolai, MCP, MPH, and Crystal Myslajek, MPP, Hennepin County

October 23, Portland, OR - EcoDistricts Summit

The EcoDistricts Summit is one of the world's premier conferences on urban sustainability, held in the heart of one of the worlds greenest cities. It is for practitioners including policymakers, developers, business leaders, and planners, but also for community members who are passionate about creating cities that are healthy and prosperous.  Contact Teague Douglas at or 503-922-1661 with any questions.



USDA Farm to School Grant Program

Letter of Intent due: May 18; Proposals due June 15

The Farm to School Grant Program is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which authorized and funded USDA to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.  The USDA Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) is charged with implementing the farm to school program.  The new investments will assist schools in procuring food from local producers. Farm to school initiatives can also include agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes.  In this first funding cycle, FNS anticipates awarding up to $3.5 million in grant funding to support efforts that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.

Grant funds will be made available on a competitive basis, subject to availability of Federal funds. Applicants are encouraged to first submit a Letter of Intent and then apply for either a Planning Grant or an Implementation Grant. Planning grants are expected to range from $20,000 - $45,000 and represent approximately 25 percent of the total awards. Implementation grants are expected to range from $65,000 - $100,000 and represent approximately 75 percent of the total awards. For both types of grants, the applicant must provide at least 25 percent of the costs of the grant project as the Federal share of costs for this grant cannot exceed 75 percent of the total cost of the project, as required by the HHFKA.

Implementation Initiatives to Advance Alternative Fuel Market

Application due: June 18

The Department of Energy's, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is seeking applications that address and assist in reducing multiple barriers to alternative fuel vehicle adoption and use. Overall, this Funding Opportunity Announcement, issued on behalf of EERE by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, aims to decrease the nation's dependence on petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the deployment of alternative fuels. The expanded use of alternative fuel vehicles and domestically produced alternative transportation fuels can create and retain jobs, stimulate and support domestic economies, and help protect the environment. The Clean Cities program has identified the following four critical areas that provide significant obstacles to alternative fuel vehicle use: 1) Polices, 2) Barrier Reduction, 3) Safety and Training, and 4)Market Development/Outreach. The U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program wishes to fund projects that target and remedy these specific obstacles to alternative fuel vehicle adoption and use in local, regional and/or statewide sectors and niche markets.

EPA Launches Video Project Asking Americans Why "Water Is Worth It"

Submissions due: September 14

2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and to help commemorate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking people to send in a 15-second video clip about the important role that water plays in their life.  Each video should include the phrase "Water Is Worth It," but the rest is up to you. EPA will post selected videos on its website and Facebook page.  Fill out a video entry form, and submit your entry as a video response to the promotional video on EPA's YouTube page at Video submissions must be received by September 14, 2012.

Greening America's Capitals: Technical Design Program for Capital Cities

Letter of Intent due: June 29

A project of the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, Greening America's Capitals technical assistance program will help state capital cities consider ways to incorporate smart growth strategies into their planning and development to create and enhance interesting, distinctive neighborhoods that have multiple social, economic, and environmental benefits. This program will assist three to five communities per year, last year's cities include Jackson, Miss., Lincoln, Neb., Montgomery, Ala., Phoenix, Ariz., and Washington, D.C. For program information and application process please visit or contact Abby Hall ((415) 972-3384, or Clark Wilson (202-566-2880, if you have any questions.

Technical Assistance Available for Energy Efficiency Activities at the Local Level

Submissions Due: June 2013

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), in partnership with the Surdna Foundation, is offering technical assistance services over the next 12 months to local governments and other local stakeholders around the U.S. on energy efficiency policy and program implementation. ACEEE staff will provide research, subject matter expertise, and other technical assistance resources for priority projects. Technical Assistance products may range from structured conference calls for identifying strategies on particular issues, to memos, fact sheets, spreadsheet analyses, or presentations to a stakeholder audience. Requests for technical assistance will be accepted on a rolling basis (first-come, first-served) from May 2012 through June 2013. Eric Mackres is ACEEE's contact on this program. 

For more information, contact Colleen Cain, Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

DOE Weatherization Formula Grants - Likely to be approximately $210 million

Application Due: Varies by program year 
Eligible Applications: Agencies that administer the WAP program 

DOE requests proposals for the Weatherization Assistance Program Formula Grant. The purpose of WAP is to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce residential expenditures, and improve health and safety. Lead applicants must be agencies that administer the WAP program. Proposals due date varies by prime applicant's program year. Grantees will be notified as soon as an update on FY 2011 funding becomes available. For planning purposes, until a final budget is passed and signed by the President, grantees should proceed with their respective plans using the same funding level as the DOE 2010 appropriated funds. For more info, contact Meghaan Hampton at

$4 Million in New Funding to Assist Local Governments with Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced a new $4 million EPA-funded initiative providing financial and technical assistance to local governments needing to reduce water pollution to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.   As local governments work to implement the Chesapeake Bay TMDL or 'pollution diet,' the Local Government Green Infrastructure Initiative will support them by making grants of up to $750,000 available. The grants will be administered by NFWF through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, and competitively awarded to local governments to design and implement projects demonstrating the integration of green infrastructure into existing programs to meet community needs and improve local waterways and the Bay. 

Details of the process and application requirements are yet to be released.