The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for a $1 million dollar grant initiative through the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) that encourages smart, sensible, and sustainable pest control in agriculture. Through these grants, EPA will support projects that explore innovative practices, technologies, education, and non-regulatory solutions that adopt integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.
"PESP grants provide states and Tribes with resources to implement sustainable pest management practices and potentially reduce the use of pesticides," said Michal Freedhoff, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "The work done under these grants supports the agency's goal of providing a cleaner and healthier environment for all Americans - including historically underserved communities whose residents are disproportionately impacted by unnecessary exposure to pests and pesticides."
While traditional pest control involves the routine application of pesticides, IPM focuses on pest prevention and only using pesticides as needed. Less pesticide use and reduced use of the equipment needed for these applications may reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling the climate crisis. IPM provides a more effective, environmentally sensitive approach that combines biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools to minimize risks associated with pests and pesticides.
EPA anticipates awarding approximately $1 million in total federal funding to support 10 projects - one from each EPA region. The agency is accepting applications from the 50 States, District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, any agency or instrumentality of a State including State universities, and all Federally recognized Native American Tribes.
Interested groups can apply at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=333775. Applications must be submitted by July 9, 2021, to be considered. Awarded projects will start in the fourth quarter of 2021.
For more information about PESP grants, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesp/pesticide-environmental-stewardship-program-grants.
PESP is guided by the principle that partnership programs complement the standards and decisions established by regulatory and registration actions. This partnership program has previously invested nearly $4 million annually to support more than 100 successful grants, awards, and collaborative efforts. These efforts have promoted IPM in agriculture, schools, integrated vegetation management on utility rights-of-ways, and shared information on tick management strategies and EPA region-specific projects on sustainable pest management practices.
Today, EPA partners with over 400 organizations through PESP and welcomes more organizations to share the commitment to environmental stewardship where we live, work, play, and farm.