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  • Summary date: Apr 20 2023 - View Summary

    Cites the act as the North Carolina Transformative Climate Communities Act.

    Enacts GS 143B-344.45, establishing the Transformative Climate Communities Fund (Fund) as a special revenue fund within the Department of Environmental Quality's State Energy Office (DEQ; Office). States that the purpose of the Fund is to fund local government grants to help achieve greenhouse reduction and sustainability goals through planning and implementing clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities. Requires granting awards through an application process and provides a nonexhaustive list of eligible entities, ranging from nonprofits to community development corporations. Requires applicants to demonstrate multi-stakeholder partnerships with local agencies, community-based organizations, workforce investment boards, and other appropriate entities, with grants awarded to projects that demonstrate community engagement at all phases, as well as demonstrate that the plan or project will achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Allows priority to plans and projects that cover areas that have a high proportion of census tracks identified as disadvantaged communities and that focus on the most disadvantaged communities. Allows grants to cover multiple years. Requires DEQ to assist the Office in performing outreach and assessing the benefits of project awards. Further describes grant project required objectives, and requires the Office and award recipients to identify additional sources of funding for the program and fund technical assistance providers to support the application and project development and implementation processes. Directs the Office to develop grant guidelines and selection criteria prior to awarding grants, with required consideration of stakeholder comments, if any, and conduct outreach and solicitation of comments from disadvantaged communities. Requires consideration of any economic displacement of low-income disadvantaged community residents and businesses. Requires the Office to annually report to the specified NCGA committee and division by September 1 regarding funds allocated from the Fund. 

    Appropriates $500,000 for 2023-24 and $750,000 for 2024-25 from the General Fund to the Office to establish the Fund and award grants as provided. Effective July 1, 2023.