May 1, 2023
Funding Available to Address Environmental Concerns in Potential Environmental Justice Areas
Largest-Ever Community Impact Grant Opportunity Since Program's Creation
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $6 million in grants is now available to help communities facing environmental justice challenges and address environmental concerns. The latest round of Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants is the largest amount offered to date and is supported by the State's Environmental Protection Fund as part of New York's ongoing efforts to assist communities disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution.
"New York State is committed to providing communities with the tools and resources necessary to help address the historic and ongoing challenges caused by environmental pollution," Governor Hochul said. "Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant funding, the largest amount the program has made available to date, will enhance the ability of community organizations across the state to address local concerns and develop local solutions to improve quality of life and ensure a cleaner, heathier future."
Since 2006, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has awarded more than $12 million in Community Impact Grants to community-based organizations for projects engaging their communities around environmental justice issues and deploying community-driven solutions. Community-based organizations can apply to receive up to $100,000 in funding for projects that address environmental and public health concerns of residents in impacted neighborhoods.
Previous projects awarded by DEC include public participatory science, community-driven water and air quality monitoring, urban farming, habitat restoration, tree plantings, curriculum development, and green infrastructure installation. A list of all previously funded projects and project descriptions is available on Open Data NY.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants have helped bring about significant progress by helping New Yorkers live healthier, more sustainable lives. This funding is one of many ways DEC is working collaboratively with communities and organizations to prioritize environmental justice, advance sustainable solutions, and safeguard local resources."
State Senator Pete Harckham said, "It is important to make these essential grants available to assist environmental justice communities that are unfairly burdened by industrial pollution. We must continue to work hard to help ease this burden by using all available resources."
Assemblymember Deborah Glick said, "These Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants are critical for marginalized communities to address years of overexposure to hazardous waste, pollution, and other toxic environmental impacts. An increase in these important grants is the right direction for New York State, I appreciate Governor Hochul and Commissioner Seggos' continued support for environmental justice funds and projects."
Eligible community-based organizations are located in Potential Environmental Justice Areas, are groups serving the residents of an area equal to or smaller than a county outside of New York City or an area equal to or smaller than one of New York City's five boroughs, and organizations with total annual revenue less than $3 million. Further eligibility information is available online at the Grant Opportunity Portal. Projects must address a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks and include a new research component that will be used to expand the knowledge of the affected community.
Applicants are required to register and prequalify in the Grants Gateway before applying. Once registered and prequalified, organizations can apply for the grant in the Grants Gateway. Instructions and application are available online at the Grants Gateway website. The deadline to submit applications is 3 p.m. EST on July 26, 2023. For a complete list of guidelines and more information, contact DEC's Office of Environmental Justice at 518-402-8556, email@example.com, or online at DEC's Environmental Justice webpage.
Funding for this grant program was provided by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a critical resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreation access, water quality improvement, and environmental justice projects. Among the many environmental victories in the enacted 2022-23 State Budget, Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders increased the EPF to $400 million, the highest-ever level of funding in the program's history.