Welcome to the latest e-newsletter of the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). We're sharing helpful information to benefit you and your community.
Know someone who’d benefit from this information? Please share and invite them to subscribe. Please help us spread the word! 


We’re Hiring! Join the staff at DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice

OEJ is hiring for a central regional coordinator (Environmental Community Relations Specialist) covering the north and south central regions. The position can be based in Harrisburg or Williamsport. More details and how to apply are posted online.

EPA Launches new National Office Dedicated to Advancing Environmental Justice and Civil Rights

In September, EPA announced that it is establishing a new national office charged with advancing environmental and civil rights. The new office will dedicate more than 200 EPA staff in EPA headquarters and across 10 regions towards solving environmental challenges in communities that have been underserved far too long. The office aims to improve the agency’s ability to infuse equity, civil rights, and environmental principles and priorities into EPA practices, policies and programs. For more information, please visit the new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights website.

Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens: Education and Rebate Program for Schools and Nonprofits

Induction Stove Image
Did you know food service is one of the highest energy users per square foot in the commercial sector? As an organization with a commercial kitchen in Pennsylvania, you're invited to join in a new learning and rebate opportunity from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens (CHECK).
Eligible participants include all K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and nonprofits whose missions are geared toward health care or community services (soup kitchens, shelters, and food banks). Two free webinars will be offered by Chef Chris Galarza of Forward Dining Solutions LLC to learn about the basics of induction cooking energy efficiency in commercial kitchens. Once you've participated in at least one webinar, you're eligible to apply for a rebate of up to $5,000 on a number of efficiency or electrification improvements to your commercial kitchen.
Friday, November 18 | 10-11:30 am CHECK Webinar for Higher Education Institutions (all welcome). Register here.
Friday, December 9 | 10-11:30 am CHECK Webinar for: K-12 Schools (all welcome). Register here.
Please see our CHECK rebate guidelines for more information and send questions to RA-EP-CHECKProgram@pa.gov

PennDOT NEVI Grant Pre-Announcement & Webinar

An electric vehicle charges up at a charger
PennDOT has developed resources to help businesses and organizations to prepare in advance of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement, which is anticipated for late December/early January.
PennDOT will host an informational webinar about the 2022 NEVI Grant Program on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, from 10 AM to noon. This webinar is intended for all audiences interested in applying for PennDOT NEVI grant program funds. This webinar will provide an overview of the PennDOT NEVI grant program, as well as information on eligibility, types of projects funded, how to apply, eligible and non-eligible costs, and application best practices. To learn more, visit PennDOT’s NEVI webpage or email PennDOT’s EV team.

Webinar Wrap Ups

Did you know that environmental justice is a focus for DEP’s Environmental Education Grants? Learn more by watching the recording of September’s Environmental Education Grants Webinar. It covers all of the basics for completing a grant application. Application deadline December 9, 2022. And if you missed the PA Sustainability Summit, presented by the GreenGov Council, have no fear. You can still get an insider view of the current and upcoming policies, programs, and funding initiatives by listening to the recordings.


Children gardening

DEP Grants - Currently Open

901 County Planning Grants/HHW
Up to 80% reimbursement for the costs of preparing municipal waste management plans to meet Act 101 requirements and pollution prevention education. Open year round and available to all Pennsylvania counties.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Grant
Open to any PA school district, municipality, nonprofit organization, and business looking to transition to alternative advanced biofuels (electricity, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, etc.). The funding covers incremental costs to purchase alternative fuel vehicles and retrofit existing vehicles to operate with alternative fuels. Deadline: December 16, 2022.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate
Are you considering buying a new or pre-owned plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle for your household? You may be eligible for this consumer rebate. Rebates of up to $3,000 are available for Pennsylvania residents who purchase a new or pre-owned electric, or hybrid electric vehicle for personal use. This application is open as funding permits.
Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens (CHECK)
Get a taste of the benefits of kitchen electrification in CHECK: Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens, a new DEP program to help schools and nonprofits modernize their kitchens through energy efficiency and electrification.
How it works: Simply attend one of three free educational webinars, and then apply for a rebate on a variety of types of equipment to make your commercial kitchen a healthier and more environmentally friendly place. Application closes June 30, 2023 or when funding expires.
Driving PA Forward - Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Rebates
Businesses, non profits, and government agencies that install Level 2 electric vehicle charging equipment may be eligible for this rebate. The equipment must be for public use at government owned property, public use at non-government owned property, non-public use at workplaces, or non-public use at multi-unit dwellings. The application is open until funding runs out.
Environmental Education Grants
Applicants should submit innovative formal and non-formal environmental education projects that: address climate change, water, and/or environmental justice; provide opportunities to expand the public’s understanding of Pennsylvania’s environmental issues; and develop skills required to make informed decisions and take responsible action. Application round closes December 9, 2022 at 4:59 p.m.
Host Municipality Review of Permit Applications Grants
Municipalities that host waste landfills, resource recovery and commercial hazardous waste treatment, and storage and disposal facilities are eligible for reimbursement of some of the costs associated with the hosting these facilities. Open year round.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Grant
Provides partial reimbursement to registered sponsors of collection programs for household hazardous waste, electronics, and tires (but not tire pile cleanup). Eligible entities include municipalities, corporations, public, and trade associations. Open year round.

EPA Updates

Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers Program
The Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTAC) Program provides grant funding to eligible applicants to establish technical assistance centers across the nation providing technical assistance, training, and related support to communities with environmental justice concerns and their partners. The new technical assistance centers will provide training, assistance, and capacity building on writing grant proposals, navigating federal systems such as Grants.gov and SAM.gov, and effectively managing grant funding. These centers will also provide guidance on community engagement, meeting facilitation, and translation and interpretation services for limited English-speaking participants.
This Request for Applications (RFA) provides a total of up to $100 million in funding for the establishment of 5 – 10 technical assistance centers across the nation serving communities with environmental justice concerns and their partners. Funds per award will total approximately $10 million for a 5-year period. This opportunity closes November 1, 2022. Learn more here.


OEJ welcomes your suggestions or inquiries about our work, programs and/or policies. We also want to hear your ideas for newsletter topics/stories. Please contact us at RA-EPOEJ@pa.gov, or directly:
Justin Dula
(484) 250-5820
Western Region
Ngani Ndimbie (through Oct 28, 2022)
(412) 442-4126
Eastern Region
Juan Serrat
(484) 250-5818
Statewide Strategic Coordinator
Winnie Okello
(717) 772-5639
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 400 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17101 
Twitter Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Instagram