Oct 26, 2023 - News

Arkansas seeks feedback on environment and energy for future plan

Illustration of a man working on a solar panel with a money overlay

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If you have got opinions about the environment or energy infrastructure, the state wants your input.

What's happening: The Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, the state Department of Environmental Quality, central Arkansas' Metroplan and Fort Smith are collaborating on an Energy and Environment Innovation plan.

  • The final draft will include statewide and regional recommendations.

Driving the news: An open house to learn more and discuss public opinion is slated for 4-7pm Thursday at the Jones Center in Springdale.

Why it matters: Public feedback will be used to target investments that reduce pollutants, create jobs and spur economic development.

  • It also provides a blueprint for Arkansas' eligibility to compete for $4.6 billion in federal grants in 2024.

The big picture: The state's plan will be submitted to the federal Environmental Protection Agency on March 1.

  • The plan is required before any state or local government agency is permitted to submit applications for grants.

Details: The organizations launched an online survey and an idea box for comments and suggestions.

  • The survey asks how respondents prioritize incentives for issues like solar, battery storage, EV charging infrastructure, low-greenhouse-gas hydrogen production and recycling.
  • The survey closes Dec. 15.

The bottom line: Your voice matters. Spanish and Marshallese versions of the survey are available.

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