Sue Pope Pollution Reduction Fund

As of August 2017, the Sue Pope fund exhausted its resouorces with a final grant to the GoodWork co-working building near downtown Dallas.


What is the Sue Pope Fund?

In 2006, after almost a year of negotiations, board members of Downwinders At Risk joined representatives from Holcim (US) Inc. and the Region 6 office of the Environmental Protection Agency to reach an historic clean air accord.

Under the terms of the settlement, Downwinders halted its fight over Holcim’s permit application to increase production and emissions at their Midlothian plant in return for Holcim’s commitment to undertake a list of projects to reduce pollution at their plant and in the region. In effect, the Fund is part of the most successful “good neighbor” agreements in Texas history.

Besides bringing long-sought new pollution controls to the Midlothian cement complex, paying for an independent scientist and increased air monitoring, Holcim agreed to allocate $2.25 million in funds to be used to reduce smog pollution in North Texas, specifically Nitrogen Oxides, or NOx. Downwinders established the The Sue Pope Fund for Pollution Reduction in North Texas as a tribute to our founder.  It includes members of the board of Downwinders as well as selected experts who review applications, rate the proposals, disburse grants, and evaluate funded projects. It is the largest private fund dedicated to clean air in the state.

Over the last ten years, the Pope Fund has financed a variety of initiatives to reduce North Texas NOx pollution, both directly and indirectly. It’s provided grants to include more efficient appliances and better weatherization in Habitat for Humanity homes in Fair Park, make a South Dallas neighborhood more energy independent with photovoltaic solar panels, operate the only bus system modern Arlington has ever known, sponsor annual gas-to-electric lawn mower exchanges in Plano, install air conditioning in McKinney Avenue Trolleys, bring the region’s first hybrid school bus to Midlothian, and pay for a Dallas County crackdown on fake inspection stickers.

Interest accumulated from the monies in the Fund will be donated to the Midlothian Independent School District to use in programs designed to aid children with special educational needs.

Here’s a 2007 video about the Pope Fund posted in two parts on YOUTUBE that gives a good explanation of how the settlement came to be.

Application Process

The Sue Pope Fund for Pollution Reduction seeks to achieve significant reductions in the level of NOx—a category of nitrogen and oxygen compounds produced by the burning of fossil fuels.  Elevated levels of NOx contribute to the formation of smog, impair visibility, and have significant healthconsequences.  Due to the impact that NOx has on air quality, it has been identified as a target pollutant for pollution reduction efforts

Who May Apply

Non-profits,governmental entities, and businesses in the North Texas non-attainment counties including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Rockwall, Somervell, and Wise. Funds will be disbursed to clean air projects within these 16counties only.

Key Criteria

The Sue Pope Fund for Pollution Reduction provides grants to third parties who agreeto carry out activities that have a likelihood of achieving NOx reductions.  Funded projects may include school bus/fleet emission retrofits or reductions, low-income household weatherization, truck stop electrification, car replacement programs, or energy efficient building projects.

Each project will be reviewed on the basis of two review criteria:

  • Achieving Key Reductions. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence that their project achieves key reductions in NOx as well as other major pollutants that impact human health.  Preference will be given to projects that address multiple pollutants, achieve the highest ratio of reductions to project cost, and with the greatest overall longevity of NOx reductions.  Projects that address populations downwind of major point sources are strongly
  • Public Impact.  Applications will be reviewed based on whether the project serves as an important public exemplar of the application of air quality reductions.  The public impact criterion may be satisfied by including an educational componenton the importance of NOx reductions and air quality, targeting sensitive groups (people with lung or heart disease, children and the elderly), or historically disadvantaged groups.  Organizations may also satisfy the public impact criterion by acquiring matching funds fortheir project from government or local agencies; however, matchingfunds are not required.

Projects should explicitly address the two review criteria, with approximately 4/5 of project budget and time dedicated to achieving key reductions, with 1/5 of the project addressing the public impact goal.

The Downwinders at Risk board is looking for new and innovative projects to fund that can establish footholds for new technology or practices in North Texas. We’ll accept applications from previous winners, but
probably will not be supporting a duplication of past efforts.

Special Note: Natural gas could play an important and constructive role in the transition from coal and oil to more sustainable energy sources. But for it to do so, it must be extracted and processed with less waste and pollution. Until more modern methods are adopted and applied in the Barnett Shale, the board of Downwinders at Risk will not be funding any new projects through the Sue Pope Fund that promote the use of natural gas, and supports a moratorium on new natural gas industry permits in the Barnett Shale.


Sue Pope Fund Application Form (297 KB)


Sue Pope Fund Application MSW (46 KB)

Download the application, fill it out and e-mail to:, with “Sue Pope Fund Application” in the Subject Line, or you can snail mail it to:

Downwinders at Risk

PO Box 763844

Dallas, Texas 75376

Questions about the process or the Fund should be submitted to the same addresses.