The U.S. EPA announced that 45 states and dozens of metropolitan areas submitted priority climate action plans as part of applying for the agency’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program. The program, created through the Inflation Reduction Act, makes $4.6 billion in competitive grant funding available for governments to implement the measures their plans describe.

Under a previous program phase, EPA distributed $250 million to governments to help them develop their plans. Recipients included 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, 80 metropolitan statistical areas, four territories, and more than 200 tribes and tribal consortia.

“The diversity of ideas and ambitious initiatives from all across the country reflect the seriousness that states and metropolitan areas are bringing to the work of cutting pollution, acting on climate change, and meeting their local objectives,” Jennifer Macedonia, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement last week. “These climate action plans demonstrate substantial progress for states and local governments, in coordination with their communities, to chart their path forward — building healthy communities and competitive local economies where climate solutions can thrive.”

Comprehensive climate action plans are due by the second half of 2025 for most grantees. Those plans will include a broader array of measures to reduce greenhouse gases.

Many of the priority plans include measures to reduce emissions from the waste sector. While the sector’s emissions have fallen 29.3% since 1990, it still contributed 166.9 million megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, in 2022, according to the most recent Inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks. That count excludes emissions from waste incineration, which are counted in the energy sector. Landfills are also the third largest source of methane pollution, a potent greenhouse gas, per the EPA report.

A variety of voices in the waste and recycling industries viewed the CPRG program as a major opportunity and pushed governments to incorporate zero waste, landfill gas mitigation, composting and other policies in their plans. Three of the four largest states by population submitted plans; Florida did not. A selection of their waste priorities and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions impact expected is below.

Read the full article about climate action plans by Jacob Wallace at Waste Dive.