Environmental Justice Small Grants and Funding Opportunities

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program offers funding opportunities authorized by California Code of Regulations Title 27, Division 1, Chapter 3, Article 1 to assist eligible non-profit community organizations and federally-recognized Tribal governments address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. The EJ Small Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

The funding cycle for 2018/2019 is closed.

Maximum Available Per Project. The maximum amount of a grant provided is $50,000.

Grant Term. 12 months.

Eligibility. Eligible applicants are limited to non-profit entities or federally recognized Tribal governments. A “non-profit entity” is defined as any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Operates primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or other similar purposes in the public interest.
  2. Not organized primarily for profit.
  3. Uses its net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand, or any combination thereof, its operations.
  4. Is a tax-exempt organization under federal Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3), or is able to provide evidence that the State of California recognizes the organizations as a non-profit entity.

Individuals and organizations that are tax exempt under federal Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4) are not eligible to apply for this funding.

“Environmental justice” is defined in Government Code section 65040.12 as “the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis for projects that are based in communities with the most significant exposure to pollution. Grants are awarded for the following statutory purposes as defined in Public Resources Code Section 71116:

  1. Distribution of information to help resolve environmental problems;
  2. Identification of improvements in communication and coordination between stakeholders and CalEPA, and its Boards, Departments, and Office (BDOs), in order to address the most significant exposure(s) to pollution;
  3. Improvement of community or tribal government understanding about environmental issues that affect its community or tribal government;
  4. Promotion of community or tribal government involvement in the decision-making process that affects the environment of the community/tribal government; and
  5. Enhancement of community/tribal government understanding of environmental information systems and environmental information.

Projects are prioritized by those addressing the most significant exposure(s) to pollution, including projects that address one or more of the following goals:

  1. Improving Access to Safe and Clean Water.
  2. Addressing Climate Change Impacts Through Community Led Solutions.
  3. Reducing the Potential for Exposure to Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals.
  4. Promoting Community Capacity Building — Improving Communities’ and Tribes’ Understanding of the Technical and Procedural Aspects of Environmental Decision-Making.
  5. Promoting the Development Of Community-Based Research That Protects and Enhances Public Health and the Environment.
  6. Addressing Cumulative Impacts Through Collaboration Between Community-Based Organizations and Local Government.

Previously Awarded Project Summaries

Grant applicants were asked to demonstrate in their applications how their projects will address one or more of the following EJ Small Grant Program goals in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental pollution or are especially sensitive to environmental pollution due to socio-economic factors.

For General Questions
regarding the EJ Small Grants, contact:

Ms. Malinda Dumisani
EJ Small Grants Program Manager
E-mail: Malinda.Dumisani@calepa.ca.gov | Phone: (916) 445-9480