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Gem State Air Quality Initiative 

The Gem State Air Quality Initiative is funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) Program, which aims to support job creation, lower energy costs for families, and deliver cleaner air in places where people live, work, play, and go to school, particularly in rural communities.

The CPRG Program is funded in two phases. The first is the planning phase that provides funds to states, Tribes, and municipalities to update existing climate, energy, or sustainability plans, or develop new plans. The second phase is the implementation phase that includes competitive implementation grants to fund measures included in priority plans developed by municipalities, states, and Tribes under the planning phase.

Visit Climate Pollution Reduction Grants | US EPA for more information about the CPRG Program.

Planning Phase

DEQ is partnering with the University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research to lead the planning phase of the Gem State Air Quality Initiative. DEQ and the McClure Center will develop a Priority Plan by March 1, 2024, and a Comprehensive Plan by summer 2025 to carry out this initiative.

For more information on this effort, see Idaho’s work plan, which outlines a timeline, milestones, and budget that will ensure Idaho’s success in implementing this initiative.

Priority Plan 

DEQ submitted Idaho’s Priority Plan to EPA in March 2024. The Priority Plan is the first step in the grant funding process.  

Comprehensive Plan 

The Comprehensive Plan is due to EPA in July 2025. This plan will include opportunities to connect with and learn more from Idahoans on air quality improvement measures they want to see in their communities.

Implementation Phase

Idaho plans to submit a single statewide Implementation Grant application to EPA. DEQ will likely be the lead agency.  The Implementation Grant application may not include all measures/projects outlined in the Priority Plan if they do not meet EPA’s grant criteria or there isn’t a level of support for timely implementation.  However, eligible entities, such as municipalities, tribes, or regional coalitions, can submit their own implementation grant to EPA for a specific measure if they so choose. 

The CPRG Program includes competitive implementation grants, which can fund a variety of measures outlined in Idaho’s Priority Plan. EPA anticipates awarding between $2 million and $500 million in individual grants.

Notice of Funding Opportunity

EPA released the following Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for these competitive grants. Municipalities, state agencies, and Tribes in Idaho are eligible entities. 

Visit CPRG Implementation Grants | US EPA for further information, sign up for webinars, and to receive updates about this grant opportunity.

How do I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved with and stay informed about the Gem State Air Quality Initiative:

  • Receive updates by subscribing to this page using the link below.
  • Email questions or comments to

Meetings and Materials

On October 19, 2023, DEQ and the McClure Center hosted the kickoff meeting. Watch the recording on YouTube or in the previous meetings tab below.

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