Environmental Justice Program

What is Environmental Justice?

The principles of environmental justice call for fairness, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in the development of laws and regulations that affect every community’s natural surroundings, and the places people live, work, play and learn.

California was one of the first states in the nation to codify environmental justice in statute. Beyond the fair treatment called for in code, leaders in the environmental justice movement work to include those individuals disproportionately impacted by pollution in decision making processes. The aim is to lift the unfair burden of pollution from those most vulnerable to its effects.

CalEPA EJ Program Update Report (2016 through 2018)

CalEPA is mandated to report to the Governor and Legislature every three years on its progress in achieving the objectives of the Intra-Agency Environmental Justice Strategy, adopted in 2004. A CalEPA Program Update Report is available that reports on the progress made during 2016 through 2018.

Environmental Justice Small Grants 

The CalEPA Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants help eligible non-profit (501(c)(3) IRS tax designated) community organizations and federally-recognized Tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. The maximum grant amount is $50,000 and the grant term is 12 months. The application period for the 2020 grant cycle is closed. In July 2020, CalEPA awarded more than $1 million in grants to for 28 projects. Read the 2020 project summaries and the press release. Information will be posted here when grant applications reopen. You can also get notifications by subscribing to the Environmental Justice Listserv.  

CalEnviroScreen Version 3.0

CalEnviroScreen 3.0 is a screening methodology that can be used to help identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. It is an important tool in meeting CalEPA’s commitment to environmental justice for all.