Office of Environmental Education

Office administers five different grant programs: Alternative Fuel Vehicles Conversion Grants, Clean Diesel School Bus Fund, Diesel Emission Reduction Grants, Ohio Environmental Education Fund, and Ohio Environmental Science and Engineering Scholarships.

Call (614) 644-2873 or email to be added to the interested parties list for any of these grant programs.

We also provide publications and resources for environmental educators and teachers; workshops on water quality monitoring methods and grant writing; and statewide coordination of the Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) and Healthy Water, Healthy People curricula for elementary, middle and high schools.

We are currently partnering with the Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Environmental Education Council of Ohio to support a statewide network of 500 Environmental Career Ambassadors to introduce Ohio Students to careers in environmental science and engineering.

Ohio Environmental Education Fund 

OEEF grant application guidelines for 2017 are expected to be posted in October, 2016. The 2016 Guidelines are still posted on the Environmental Education tab for informational purposes, but the July 2016 application cycle is now closed. Electronic letters of intent for the January 2017 cycle will be due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday January 9, 2016. Completed applications must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday January 17, 2017.

Clean Diesel School Bus Grants

We are celebrating ten years and more than 3,600 school buses equipped with pollution controls! For information, click on the Clean School Bus Grants tab above. This program is no longer accepting new applications. Interested school districts in eligible counties may apply through the Diesel Emission Reduction Grant program.

Diesel Emission Reduction Grants

The 2016 Request for Proposals is now open, with applications due by October 7th at 5:00 p.m. Applications must be submitted online. For more information, please click on the Diesel Emission Reduction Grants tab.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grants

Program under development in the summer and fall of 2016. For information, click on the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Grants tab above.

Environmental Science and Engineering Scholarships

The deadline to apply is April 15, 2017. For information, please click on the Scholarships tab above.

The OEEF summer 2016 grant cycle is now closed. OEEF grant guidelines for 2016 Mini Grants and 2016 General Grants are still posted for informational purposes. The next Request for Proposals (RFP) is expected to be released in October, 2016. Electronic letters of intent to apply can then be submitted in the online application software no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday January 9th. Completed applications must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday January 17, 2017.

To apply, go to the eBusiness Center and create an account (user ID and password). Once the account is approved, follow the web link in your account approval e-mail and click on the OEEF Grant Service link to continue.

The OEEF was created by the General Assembly in 1990 to enhance Ohio citizens’ awareness and understanding of environmental issues. It is administered by the Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and provides approximately $1 million annually in grants to support environmental education efforts within the state of Ohio.

The OEEF derives its monies from one-half of the civil penalties collected from violations of Ohio's air and water pollution control regulations. The OEEF funds education projects that target three audiences: (1) the general public; (2) the regulated community; and (3) pre-school through university students and teachers. General grants are available for $5,000 to $50,000, and mini grants for projects costing between $500 and $5,000.

Application guidelines spell out application requirements, current funding priorities, the application review process, and preferred characteristics for projects targeting the respective audiences. OEEF grant coordinators are also available to assist in preparing grant proposals prior to the deadline dates, and to advise applicants on the eligibility of possible projects. OEEF grant-writing workshops are also offered around the state several times yearly.

There are two grant cycles annually, with application deadlines on January 15 and July 15. OEEF supports innovative projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues, and provide the skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions. Environmental education is based on objective and scientifically sound information, and does not advocate a particular viewpoint or course of action. It teaches individuals how to weigh various sides of an issue through critical thinking, and it enhances their problem-solving and decision-making skills.

A list of past grant recipients illustrates the variety of projects that have been funded. Descriptions of OEEF Outstanding Project Award Winners showcase successful environmental education efforts that we encourage grant applicants to emulate.

2017 OEEF Annual Agenda

2016 OEEF Annual Report

OEEF Program Brochure

Application Guidelines and Resources

OEEF 2016 General Grant Guidelines

OEEF 2016 Mini Grant Guidelines

OEEF Grant Preferred Characteristics

OEEF Application Review Process

Grant Administration Reference Document (GARD)

The document contains reporting guidelines for your general and mini grants. However, we encourage grantees to contact OEEF if a particular circumstance arises that may not be covered in your GARD and we will be glad to assist you.

“Resources for Grant Seekers” and “Resources to Help You Evaluate Your Grant Program” are links (to be updated periodically) that will provide additional  information to help with your funding search and proposal preparation.

General Grants

Mini Grants

Resources for Grant Seekers:

Talk to a reference librarian in your public library!

Resources to Help You Evaluate Your Grant Program:

Past Grant Recipients

Outstanding Projects

Featured Environmental Education Projects

Periodically, the OEEF contracts with the Environmental Education Council of Ohio to conduct an independent review of completed grant projects, in order to select OEEF Outstanding Project award winners. OEEF highlights these projects as examples of effective environmental education. Because of the great variety in OEEF-funded projects, EECO and the OEEF developed a set of holistic instruments for use in reviewing these completed grant projects, Rubrics Cubed: What One Grant Maker Looks for in EE Projects [PDF].  These are the instruments that we use:

For K-12 education projects:
For general public/adult education projects:

For regulated community projects:

OEEF also uses a tool for website evaluation for both K-12 and general public projects that contain a website component.

* Although Ohio EPA cannot endorse, sanction or guarantee the accuracy of information found on external Web sites, we think you might find these outside links useful. When you select a link to an external Web site, you are leaving Ohio EPA's Web site and are subject to the privacy, security and accessibility policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.

Grant Writing Workshops

Upcoming Workshops

  • Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Grant Writing 101/102: Finding the Right Funder Writing a Winning Proposal, ODNR, Wildlife District 1, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
    Registration is required by email to by October 7, 2016. More Details.
  • Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Grant Writing 101/102: Finding the Right Funder and Writing a Winning Proposal, NRCS Area 4 Office, Englewood Service Center at 12 West Wenger Road, Englewood, Ohio 45322-2754. Registration is required by email to by December 2, 2016. More Details.

Contact Dennis Clement at (614) 644-2048 or for details.

Environmental Education Resources


The Office of Environmental Education also works closely with partner organizations and other governmental agencies to promote and coordinate environmental education efforts.

* Although Ohio EPA cannot endorse, sanction or guarantee the accuracy of information found on external Web sites, we think you might find these outside links useful. When you select a link to an external Web site, you are leaving Ohio EPA's Web site and are subject to the privacy, security and accessibility policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.

Ohio EPA is proud to report the results of Clean Diesel School Bus grants awarded between 2006-2015:
  • 2,625 school buses received pollution control equipment
  • 1,037 school buses received idle reduction equipment
  • 44 older diesel buses were replaced with newer clean diesel or alternative fuel buses
  • more than 117 tons of pollutants were removed from Ohio skies
  • more than $9.2 million was awarded

The Ohio Clean Diesel School Bus Fund awarded grants to school districts and county developmental disability programs  to retrofit diesel school buses with pollution controls and idle reduction equipment.  The program sought to reduce student and driver exposure to the harmful pollutants in diesel exhaust and to conserve fuel.  Grants were funded from civil penalties Ohio EPA collects from environmental violations and from federal grants.  The program was discontinued in 2016 because there are so few school buses left of eligible model years 1996-2004 that would continue in service for the required four years after retrofit.  (New buses since model year 2006 have much better emission controls installed at the factory.)   Instead, Ohio EPA is using federal grants received from U.S. EPA to assist local school districts in priority Ohio counties with the early retirement and replacement of aging diesel buses.  School districts in eligible counties may apply for retrofits or replacement buses through Ohio EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Grant Program.

Forms for Grant Recipients


School BusU.S. EPA also has a Clean School Bus program designed to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and reduce the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses. According to U.S. EPA, 24 million children ride a school bus every day and, on average, students spend 90 minutes each weekday in a school bus.

U.S. EPA’s Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative also provides funding for school bus retrofits and replacements. More information is available at



An interview with Granville Local Schools transportation staff about their pre-heater installations is featured in a webinar about idle reduction on the Ohio Department of Health’s School Environmental Health and Safety page.  The webinar also features an interview with researchers about the effectiveness of anti-idling education in reducing emissions and improving air quality around schools in Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati's Department of Environmental Health is conducting a multi-year study to determine if children with higher levels of exposure to diesel exhaust particles are at increased risk for hypersensitivity to specific allergens and related respiratory disorders.

For more information about this project and similar publications from the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study, visit

The Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio EPA are inviting proposals to the Diesel Emission Reduction Grant (DERG) program for 2016. This cycle we have approximately $12 million available to award, of which $4 million will be allocated for transit projects and $4 million for school bus replacement and retrofit projects. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7.

Applicants must now be submitted online, in the electronic form posted at Note that the application form changes as the applicant selects different types of projects, and the form will calculate some formulas. Applicants should carefully read the entire Request for Proposals (RFP) to understand the supporting documentation that must be uploaded for each type of project. Applicants with more than one type of project (for example, diesel-to-diesel and diesel-to-alternative fuel vehicle replacements and fueling infrastructure) should submit separate applications for each component. No applicant will be awarded more than $1 million in DERG funds. 

An information session has been scheduled on Wednesday, September 7 at 10 a.m. at the Ohio Department of Transportation auditorium, 1980 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43223. Registration is not required for the information session. Two conference calls have also been scheduled on Wednesday, September 14 and Tuesday, September 20, to take questions from prospective applicants. Information on how to join the conference calls is included in the RFP. Ohio EPA will post and update a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on this website throughout the application period. Interested parties may send contact information to in order to receive email notifications about the program.

NEW! Frequently Asked Questions (Updated September 29, 2016)

NEW! Slides from September 20 Webinar for school districts seeing replacement buses

For questions about the grant program, please contact Carolyn Watkins at or (614) 644-3768. For questions about eligible clean diesel technologies and estimating emissions reductions, please contact Alan Harness at or (614) 644-4838.

DERG program overview slides September 2016

Request for Proposals 2016

Print entire RFP Instructions and Appendices as a single PDF file (PDF)

Appendices A, B, and I2 must be completed and uploaded with all applications. The other appendices provide supplemental information or project-specific examples of the type of information applicants will need to upload.

Forms for use by DERG grant recipients after grant award

Previous DERG Grant Awards

DERG projects are administered jointly by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 

Related Information

House Bill 390, passed by the Ohio General Assembly in June 2016, created a new Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grant program and set aside $5 million to be awarded by June 30, 2017. Grants will reimburse business owners of large diesel or gasoline vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or more (class 7 and 8) for a portion of the cost of replacing or converting the vehicle to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or propane autogas (LPG).

NEW: Chart of Vehicle Class Sizes

Maximum grant size per vehicle will be the lesser of:

  • 50 percent of the adjusted purchase price* (fuel components) of the new vehicle, or
  • 50 percent of the cost of the conversion parts, or
  • $25,000

*Adjusted purchase price means the portion of the purchase price of a new alternative fuel vehicle that is attributable to the parts and equipment used for the storage of alternative fuel, the delivery of alternative fuel to the motor and the exhaust of gases from the combustion of alternative fuel.

Total grants awarded to any recipient shall not exceed $400,000. At least half the miles driven by the new vehicle must be within Ohio.

The new law requires Ohio EPA to go through a rulemaking process to create the program. This process is expected to take at least six months, so the first opportunity to apply for AFV grants will be in the spring of 2017. Ohio EPA will be seeking comments from the public as the program is developed. More information will be posted to this website as it becomes available. If you would like to be added to the Interested Parties list to receive email updates about the program, please send your full contact information to or call (614) 644-2873. If you are already on the Interested Parties list for Ohio EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Grant program, you are automatically on the list of Interested Parties for the new AFV program.

Thank you for your patience as we develop this new program and website.

Phone: (614) 644-2873
Fax: (614) 644-2738
Email Webmaster

Physical address:
Ohio EPA - Public Interest Center
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Mailing address:
Ohio EPA - PIC
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 

Environmental Education Staff
Watkins, Carolyn Office Chief   (614) 644-2873
Shuman, Justin Administrative Professional 4
(614) 644-2873
Clement, Dennis Ohio Environmental Education Fund (614) 644-2048
Montavon, Jeff Ohio Environmental Education Fund (614) 644-3671

Ohio Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)
This video is an introduction to the Ohio Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Program, which is an award-winning national curriculum facilitated in Ohio by the Office of Environmental Education at Ohio EPA.