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.


Building Our Skills Together Online Conference – June 2-4, 2020

(Free Online Conference – Joint Effort of CalEPA and Resources Agency)

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) have partnered to produce a series of online sessions The Building Our Skills Together Online Conference during June 2 – 4, 2020, on community engagement and equity during the COVID-19 crisis.

You Are Invited to Join Us in these free online sessions to hear from state, local, tribal and community leaders as well as international experts in the field of public participation and engagement. Integrated simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be available. Please see the attached conference flyers available in English and Spanish.

Although this is a three day conference of online sessions, there is no expectation that you must participate in all three days or in all sessions.  Many of the topics covered are intended to assist anyone who would like to learn more about:

• Using digital engagement tools effectively to plan and participate in virtual online meetings
• How organizations are adapting engagement practices during the COVID-19 crisis
• What it all means for equity and environmental justice

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE? Please register at this link: https://bit.ly/calengage2020. All sessions are free and online.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Sarah Rubin at Sarah.Rubin@conservation.ca.gov or call  (916) 214-5731.

The Building Our Skills Together Conference is rooted in the experience that many people are going through during this crisis—the struggle to maintain connection in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and the even more pressing challenge to do better when it comes to authentic engagement. The crisis has highlighted once again, the pattern of deepening racial and ethnic inequities across health, the environment and the economy.

Day 1 will include two 45 minute practice sessions on Zoom (one for facilitators and one for participants, in the evening), a practice session on Bluejeans and one on GoTo Webinar. Days 2 and 3 will be exclusively held on Zoom.


Environmental Justice Small Grants 2020 APPLICATION Period Closed

The CalEPA Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants are available to 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. 

On January 17, 2020, Agency Secretary Blumenfeld directed the release for Notice of Funding Availability for the 2020 Cycle of the CalEPA EJ Small Grants Program with at least $1 million will be available for award.  The maximum grant amount is $50,000 and the grant term is 12 months.  The application period for the 2020 cycle is now closed.  CalEPA is currently reviewing applications for award.

For more information, visit the EJ Funding page for more information on electronic submission and updated project examples.


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.