CalEPA Doubles Grants for Environmental Justice

For Immediate Release

April 14, 2015 Contact: Amy Norris, (916) 324-9670

SACRAMENTO – California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez today announced more than $500,000 in grants to 28 organizations to improve environmental and health conditions and promote public engagement in California communities disproportionately burdened by pollution.

The 2015 Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants were awarded to community-based nonprofit groups and federally recognized tribal governments throughout California. This year’s funding represents a significant increase from 2013, when the EJ Small Grants program provided $250,000 to 13 organizations.

“By doubling the number of funded projects, our grants program will have a greater impact on improving the health and quality of life in our most vulnerable communities,” said Secretary Rodriquez. “This increase reflects our commitment to environmental justice and public health protection for all Californians.”

Projects selected for the EJ grants address a variety of issues, including ensuring safe and affordable drinking water, enhancing public participation on climate change policies, and education on health and safety issues relating to pesticide use. Many projects focus on equipping residents of disadvantaged communities to participate in environmental decision-making at both local and state levels.

Grant recipients are located in Northern, Southern and Central California, in inland and coastal communities.

This is the fifth cycle that funding for this program has been provided by the boards and departments within CalEPA. The CalEPA EJ Small Grants Program was established under Assembly Bill 2312 (Statutes of 2002, Chapter 994) to provide grants to eligible nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribal governments.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego County, Barrio Logan, City Heights ($20,000) The Environmental Health Coalition will deliver education and training on climate change and its environmental and health impacts via its Advancing Health and Climate Justice Project. The Project will enhance meaningful participation by community members in the planning and implementation of climate change policies called for in Climate Action Plans for City of San Diego.
  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Central California, North Monterey County ($18,972) EJCW works primarily with low income, Spanish-speaking communities in Monterrey County to ensure they are represented in water policy decision making. New curriculum will train residents to become water savvy community leaders who can participate in policy decisions. The pilot training will take place in Springfield Terrace, Las Lomas and Royal Oaks which lack reliable access to safe affordable drinking water. The project will ultimately develop and evaluate an environmental justice curriculum for use on the rest of the Central Coast.
  • Global Community Monitor, Bay Area, Pittsburg, Richmond, Martinez, Benicia, Crocket-Rodeo ($20,000) Global Community Monitor will provide ongoing training and an air sampling program to five low income, minority communities affected by the concentration of oil refineries and other industrial facilities in the Bay Area. Residents of Pittsburg, Martinez, Benicia, Rodeo and Richmond will learn about current pollution levels, and receive technical support to conduct sampling to track emissions and air quality over time. The knowledge and empirical evidence gained through these activities will give residents the tools to engage in decision making that will improve environmental quality in their neighborhoods.

Complete list of grantees.