Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE)

Cooperative Agreements

Currently, there are no plans to publish a Request for Proposal for the CARE program due to lack of congressional funding. The CARE principles are being integrated across other Agency community-based programs to preserve the good practices and lessons learned.  The Agency is incorporating lessons from the CARE program as part of  EPA’s Theme and Cross-Agency Strategy “Making a Visible Difference in Communities”.  To learn more about this theme and strategy, please visit:   (https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-themes-meeting-challenge-ahead) (https://www.epa.gov/planandbudget/strategicplan) pages 57-59

This page presents an overview of the current Request for Proposals under the CARE program. For general information about CARE, see the Basic Information page. For a list of all CARE community projects, both current and completed, see the Community Profiles page.

EPA has made it easier for communities to access our community-based grant resources at https://www.epa.gov/ogd/training/resources_for_communities/community_grants_table.htm

For the first time, on the EPA website is a calendar of upcoming grant opportunities in 2012 to help communities address environmental challenges. This page will be updated periodically to reflect upcoming EPA grant opportunities.

We welcome your comments about how we can make this resource more helpful to you. You can "contact us".


EPA developed the CARE program in response to community requests for help in addressing environmental concerns and in recognition of the need for a new approach to help communities develop locally-led solutions to address these concerns. While national regulatory approaches have resulted in significant reductions in toxic releases and other environmental improvements, these methods have not always been effective in addressing specific community concerns and cumulative risks resulting from toxic releases from multiple and often diffuse sources.

CARE is designed to complement national regulatory approaches and meet community needs by building the capacity of communities to understand and take effective actions at the local level to address existing environmental concerns in all environmental media. The CARE program will provide funding, information, training, technical support, and help to build collaborative local partnerships, improved access to voluntary programs and address community environmental concerns.

This help will focus on building the communities’ capacity to identify, understand, and reduce the risks from toxic pollutants and environmental concerns in all air, including indoor air, water and land. The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) recently reported that “the CARE program has demonstrated how communities can effectively address environmental problems, and how EPA can work together with them for mutual gain.”

Top of page

Eligible Applicants

To be an eligible entity to apply for financial assistance under this RFP, an applicant must fall within the statutory terms of EPA’s research and demonstration grant authorities. Local, public non-profit institution/organizations, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, Native American organizations, private non-profit institution/organization, quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization both interstate and intrastate, local government, colleges, and universities could be eligible to apply for CARE funds.

Top of page

Levels of Funding

Under this RFP, EPA will award CARE grants through cooperative agreements at two levels (Level I and Level II) that support different types of activities:

  • Level I cooperative agreements will support the following types of activities: working with the funded entity to form community-based collaborative partnerships; identifying and developing an understanding of the many local sources of risk from toxic pollutants and environmental concerns; and setting priorities for the reduction of the identified risks and concerns of the community. Level I cooperative agreements ranging in approximate value from $75,000 to a maximum of $100,000, with an average project funding of about $90,000.

  • Level II cooperative agreements will support activities to identify and implement actual “on the ground,” community-based projects for the reduction of the prioritized risks and concerns in their community. Level II agreements are for communities that have already completed the actions typically taken in a Level I agreement. However, receipt of a Level I cooperative agreement is not a prerequisite to receiving a Level II cooperative agreement. Level II cooperative agreements ranging in approximate value from $150,000 to a maximum of $300,000, with an average project funding of about $275,000. Due to appropriation law concerns, until Congress provides separate authorization, EPA can only award CARE Level II cooperative agreements to applicants that have already received CARE Level I cooperative agreements

Top of page

Evaluation Criteria

Each eligible applicant’s proposal that meets the threshold criteria in Section III of the RFP will be evaluated according to the criteria set forth in Section V. EPA strongly suggests that you refer to the guidance in Appendix C when writing your proposal.

Applicants must clearly and explicitly address these criteria as part of their proposal submittal and must state whether they are applying for a Level I or Level II cooperative agreement. Applicants’ responses, if desired, may be written in a table format instead of narrative format. Each proposal will be rated under the specific Levels’ point system, with a total of 100 points possible.

Top of page

Proposal Submission

Applicants have the following options to submit their proposals: 1) Hard copy by express delivery service to Catrice Jefferson, or 2) electronically through Grants.gov. Proposals will not be accepted via fax or standard 1st class mail delivery by U.S. Postal Service. All proposals must be prepared, and include the information, as described below in Section IV.C “Proposal Package Components” regardless of mode of transmission.

The proposal package must include all of the following materials:

  • Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance
  • Standard Form (SF) 424A, Budget Information
  • Narrative Proposal -- Narratives in excess of 10 pages will not be considered

Top of page


Jump to main content.