Monday, April 28th through Friday, May 2nd was Air Quality Awareness Week, five days of air quality public education and awareness that served to kick-off the prime months of ground-level ozone pollution in Central Oklahoma. It was during that week the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments first announced the availability of Air Quality Awareness Grants, offering an overall minimum of $75,000 for small active transportation infrastructure projects and public education programs to raise awareness about our region’s air quality.

Through the use of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds, the Air Quality Awareness Grants can fund a range of projects and programs including bicycle racks, public bicycle repair stations, bicycle shelters, bicycle lockers, school idle reduction programs, pedestrian safety lighting, walking school bus programs, the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality school flag program and much, much more.

Eligibility is limited to city governments, county governments, tribal governments, public schools, public school districts and public universities. Ineligible entities are encouraged to collaborate with eligible entities to craft applications so as to increase the reach and community benefit of proposed projects and programs.

It is important to note that these grants will be awarded on a reimbursement basis, meaning applicants will need to pay for eligible costs up-front and submit documentation to ACOG afterwards in order to receive grant funds. Additionally, CMAQ funds require a minimum 20% match in local, non-federal funds. In-kind match cannot be accepted. This means only 80% of your project or program budget will be awarded and only after the submission of invoices and documentation to ACOG.

The deadline for proposals is Friday, June 13th, 2014. All information on the grant including the manual, scoring criteria and resources for suggested projects or programs can be reviewed on the ACOG website.

You can sign up to receive Ozone Alert notifications for Central Oklahoma here. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality offer EnviroFlash notifications for air quality alerts via email, free iPhone and Android apps and social media.

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