Labor, Climate, and Community Leaders Back Pennsylvania DEP Effort to Lower Industrial Climate Pollution and Create Jobs

Reducing Industrial Sector Emissions (RISE PA) Application for Federal Funding Could Bring in $475M in Investment to PA, Create 6,000 Jobs, and Eliminate 5.2 Million Metric Tons of Carbon Pollution

Carnegie, PA —Today, the Shapiro administration and local elected officials, labor unions, and climate groups came together in Allegheny County to support the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) ambitious application for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program’s competitive implementation grants. 

Pennsylvania’s proposal, the Reducing Industrial Sector Emissions in Pennsylvania (RISE PA) program, would reduce climate-change-causing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources by providing grants to promote investment into emissions reduction equipment and technology and energy efficiency upgrades. Up to 5.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalent emissions could be reduced between 2025 and 2030 under the program, which would also create upwards of 6,000 new jobs installing and maintaining the equipment. 

On Tuesday, at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) DC 57’s Union Hall in Carnegie, DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley and Office of the Governor Critical Investments Executive Director Dr. Brian Regli joined Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, and leaders of IUPAT DC 57, Ohio River Valley Institute, Moms Clean Air Force Pennsylvania, and Evergreen Action in support of RISE PA. 

“Pennsylvania has a proud industrial history, and through this program, we can keep that tradition going and be an example for the rest of the nation on how to fight climate change and grow the economy,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “RISE PA will elevate Pennsylvania businesses and reduce the barriers to investing in these clean technologies and help us meet our climate goals.”

The RISE PA program is a part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program, part of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. DEP submitted an application for $475 million to EPA on March 25, 2024 for the RISE PA program, which would cut industrial pollution, uplift fenceline communities, and create thousands of quality jobs across the Commonwealth. DEP submitted to EPA a Priority Climate Action Plan that outlines the types of projects that Pennsylvania could apply for under the CPRG program.

“Pennsylvania is a national leader in industry, energy production, and labor and the RISE PA program combines all three to fight climate change and grow the economy,” said Director of the Office of Critical Infrastructure Dr. Brian Regli. “Investments in emission reductions now pay dividends for generations to come.”

“Pennsylvania’s RISE PA program has the potential to be a nation-leading game changer for decarbonizing the industrial sector,” said Justin Balik, Evergreen Action state program director. “EPA has designed the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program to support innovative and impactful proposals, and RISE PA clearly meets this test and deserves the EPA’s full consideration. Pennsylvania’s application is an example of bold state leadership to reinvigorate American industry, create jobs, and tackle the climate crisis.”

“We're proud to support the Commonwealth's RISE PA grant application, which will make our communities cleaner and result in potentially thousands of jobs for our members across western Pennsylvania," said IUPAT DC 57 President and Director of Training Brian Herbinko. 

“Investing in near-term strategies like energy efficiency and electrification to decarbonize our industrial sector will help us build a better future for all Pennsylvanians, and RISE PA charts a path for how we can achieve unprecedented emissions reductions with an appropriate sense of urgency,” said Joanne Kilgour, executive director of the Ohio River Valley Institute. “Full funding for RISE PA would give us the opportunity to make significant steps forward in decarbonizing our industrial sector in Pennsylvania while boosting good paying union jobs and protecting our neighbors.”