Priority Climate Action Plan
Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments
The Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG), in coordination with the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCOG) and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) seeks proposals from qualified environmental consulting firms for the development of a Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) for the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) Program.
MetroCOG is the direct recipient of planning grant funding from the USEPA. As the direct recipient and lead organization, MetroCOG is responsible for coordinating and administering planning activities and managing planning grant funds under the CPRG Program for the MSA. MetroCOG will coordinate planning activities with WestCOG and NVCOG who have been identified as sub awardees and/or collaborating entities in our EPA approved CPRG Workplan. The selected consultant will be required to work cooperatively with MetroCOG, WestCOG, NVCOG, the 25 Study Area municipalities, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), USEPA and other relevant stakeholders on all project tasks throughout the duration of the planning project.
MetroCOG intends to use the CPRG to create a framework for a regional climate action plan, with a particular focus on developing a pipeline of municipal implementation projects and framework for local climate policy and operational initiatives. Projects will focus on actions within the jurisdiction of the COGs and their member municipality governments to implement. The Plan will also serve as a roadmap for the MSA to leverage local partners and state and federal plans, programs, and funds. The CPRG program has three primary deliverables:
- Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP);
- Comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CCAP); and
- Status Report.
For full descriptions of the required programs elements, please consult the official program guidance. A summary of the three phases with associated deliverables is included as Attachment A. MetroCOG intends to award a contract(s) for a term beginning September 2023 through Spring 2024. At this time, MetroCOG seeks proposals for PCAP services only.
NOTE: MetroCOG has a subaward agreement with UMass Amherst to perform the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory task for the PCAP. Respondents should address the remaining required elements at minimum and are encouraged to address the optional "Encouraged” PCAP elements in the program guidance.
II. ABOUT METROCOG
MetroCOG is the federally designated transportation planning agency for the Greater Bridgeport Planning Region and is the Regional Council of Governments that includes the City of Bridgeport and the Towns of Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull. MetroCOG is also the host agency for the Greater Bridgeport and Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (GBVMPO).
III. STUDY AREA OVERVIEW
The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk MSA includes: the Cities of Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk, Shelton, and Stamford; and the Towns of Bethel, Brookfield, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. The Towns of Bridgewater and New Milford, while not in the MSA, are also included in the Study Area. See Attachment B for a map of the MSA.
The Study Area comprises 25 municipalities and over 950,000 residents. The urban centers are the Cities of Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk, and Stamford. This is a diverse region, both demographically and socioeconomically, and contains dense urban development, built and developing suburbs, rural and coastal communities. These varied physical and demographic factors present an opportunity to address climate change across community contexts within the MSA.
MetroCOG, WestCOG, and NVCOG are coordinating with an intergovernmental working group consisting of other CPRG COGS – Capital Region and Lower Connecticut River Valley (Hartford MSA) and South Central and Naugatuck Valley (New Haven MSA). We are also working with staff at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). In addition, a key partner will be Sustainable CT, and coordination with other climate, equity and energy non-profits will be pursued where appropriate. In addition, MetroCOG will convene a Climate Technical Advisory Committee (CTAC), which will be at a minimum comprised of representatives from communities within the Study Area.
IV. CPRG OVERVIEW
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) is the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history, offering funding, programs, and incentives to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and will likely drive significant deployment of new clean electricity resources. Most provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act became effective 1/1/2023. The IRA created the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program, which provides grants to states, territories, tribes, air pollution control agencies, and local governments to develop and implement plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution. Through the CPRG program, EPA is supporting the development and expansion of climate action plans for the most populated metropolitan areas nationally. The EPA's three broad objectives are:
- Tackle damaging climate pollution while supporting the creation of good jobs and lowering energy costs for families.
- Accelerate work to address environmental injustice and empower community-driven solutions in overburdened neighborhoods.
- Deliver cleaner air by reducing harmful air pollution in places where people live, work, play and go to school.
Key Deliverable #1: Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP)
The initial deliverable is a Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP), a narrative report due on March 1, 2024. The PCAP comprises a focused list of near-term, high-priority, implementation-ready, measures to reduce GHG emissions and an analysis of GHG emissions reductions that would be achieved through implementation.
NOTE: The selected consultant will not be required to complete the GHG Inventory as part of the PCAP. MetroCOG and the two other Connecticut lead agencies (SCRCOG and CRCOG) have subaward agreements with the University of Massachusetts Amherst Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (UMass Amherst) to create GHG Inventories for our respective MSAs. The selected consultant will coordinate with UMass about the Inventory. UMass will provide the Inventory, Methodology, and other relevant documentation needed for the PCAP.
The following is for information-only and are not a part of this RFP:
Key Deliverable #2: Comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CCAP)
The second deliverable is the Comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CCAP). The CCAP should touch on all significant GHG sources/sinks and sectors present in a state or metropolitan area, establish near-term and long-term GHG emission reduction targets, and identify strategies and measures for achieving results.
Key Deliverable #3: Status Report
The third deliverable under the CPRG Program are Status Report, which are due in Years three and four of the four-year planning grant period. More details on the PCAP, CCAP, and Status Report can be found in Attachment C: Scope of Services and the official program guidance: https://www.epa.gov/inflation-reduction-act/climate-pollution-reduction-grants
V. SCOPE OF SERVICES OVERVIEW
Prospective consultants are asked to submit a proposal for PCAP services. At this time, MetroCOG is soley focused on entering into a contract agreement for PCAP services as CCAP and Status Report services are not required until a PCAP has been completed. However, at MetroCOG's discretion, the selected consultant may be given the option to enter into or extend the contract for PCAP services to include CCAP and Status Report services in the future. For a detailed description of required elements for the PCAP see Attachment C: Scope of Services.
Anticipated Project Schedule
- January 12, 2024: Final DRAFT PCAP to MetroCOG for comments
- January 26, 2024: MetroCOG publishes Draft PCAP for 30-day public comment period
- March 1, 2024: Final PCAP due to EPA
Additional Information & Resources
Respondents should refer to the official program guidance, along with technical guidance documents for specified deliverables. The USEPA has also provided several resources, including technical guidance and tools on their website: https://www.epa.gov/inflation-reduction-act/climate-pollution-reduction-grants
The resources below from EPA include tools and technical guidance organized by CPRG workplan elements:
- GHG Inventory
- GHG Emission Projections and GHG Reduction Targets
- GHG Reduction Measures - Resources and Tools
- Benefits Analysis
- Low Income and Disadvantaged Community Benefits Analysis
- Workforce Planning Analysis
Procurement of consultant services for all required deliverables under the CPRG Program will adhere to the established policies of MetroCOG, as well as with the requirements of the USEPA and the Programmatic and Financial Terms and Conditions of the Notice of Award. It is anticipated that the PCAP will commence in September 2023 and be completed by March 1, 2024. While the CCAP and Status Report are to be solicited separately, MetroCOG anticipates that the CCAP will commence in Spring 2024 and will be completed June 2025. The Status report is due at the close of the 4-year grant period (summer-fall 2027).
Respondents to this RFP should represent a firm, company, organization, team, or individual with ample experience performing similar services and the professional standards thereof, to undertake and successfully complete the Scope of Services outlined in Attachment C.
Please direct questions to Lindsay Naughton in writing at the address noted on the cover page, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4:00 PM EST on September 14, 2023. Inquires and responses will be posted at www.ctmetro.org no later than September 28, 2023. MetroCOG will respond to technical questions only. No interpretive guidance, written or oral, regarding this RFP will be given and no phone calls will be accepted. Written approval by MetroCOG is required prior to public disclosure of submissions intended for MetroCOG. Prospective consultants are expected to monitor www.ctmetro.org for amendments and responses to inquiries.
VII. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Prospective consultant(s) are asked to submit responses in three parts:
- Letter of Interest, and
- Technical Response
- Budget/Fee Proposal