Image source: Antonio Rodriguez- stock.adobe.comThe federal government is launching a series of Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to help communities impacted by recent or impending closing of fossil fuel facilities.

RRTs are intended to work with energy communities who have experienced a recent or approaching fossil fuel facility closure to address worker and community needs using existing federal resources. RRT members work with community members to identify economic transformation and revitalization goals, figure out ways to pursue those goals, and make the connections between programs across the federal family and up and down levels of government. RRTs aim to understand the needs of communities and work to make sure barriers to meeting those needs are smoothed over.

The RRT program was initiated by the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization. There are four existing RRTs in Wyoming, the Four Corners, the Illinois Basin and Eastern Kentucky. “Each region has a unique set of challenges the RRTs aim to address, including workforce training, economic diversification, reclamation of legacy energy assets, broadband access, infrastructure improvements and more.” So far RRT locations have been chosen by identifying the regions with the highest loss of coal assets and with inadequate financial and local community resources to address those losses. 

If your community or region is interested in being considered for an RRT, contact [email protected].

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