Environmental Justice Small Grants for Drinking Water

Notice of Funding Availability for the
California EPA 2015/2016 Environmental Justice Small Grants

Program Website & Application


Funding Available
A minimum $250,000 in grant funds is available for the 2015 grant cycle. Grants have generally been awarded in the range of $15,000 to $20,000. Cal/EPA plans to announce the grant awards in December of 2014. The grant term will be 12 months, approximately February 2015 through February 2016.

Eligible applicants were 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) were not eligible to apply for this grant.

2015 Grant Program Goals
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:

  1. Improve Access To Safe and Clean Water
    Water is one of the most basic human needs. Safe and clean water is needed for human consumption to prevent dehydration, for cooking, for cleaning and for health needs – yet safe, clean water is not always available to all Californians. Increasing all communities’ access to a reliable and healthy water supply is a goal of CalEPA.
  2. Reduce The Potential For Exposure To Pesticides And Toxic Chemicals
    Exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals can have many negative health effects, especially to vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women. There are several ways to prevent or guard against exposure to these substances in order to protect human and environmental health. This can include efforts to reduce or eliminate pollution before it is generated. It may also include measures to minimize or prevent exposure where chemicals and pesticides are used legally.
  3. Promote Community Capacity Building — Improve Communities’ And Tribes’ Understanding Of The Technical And Procedural Aspects Of Environmental Decision-Making
    Capacity building enables all members of a tribe or community, including the most disadvantaged and sensitive, to develop skills and competencies to meaningfully participate in decision-making. Community capacity building helps communities become more resilient and better able to address environmental impacts and challenges. Examples of these efforts include training and educational programs on governance and regulatory processes.
  4. Promote The Development Of Community-Based Research That Protects And Enhances Public Health And The Environment
    Community-based research is a meaningful, collaborative effort between academic researchers and community members that aims to generate social action and positive environmental change through the use of multiple knowledge sources and research methods. Academic-community partnerships can enhance understanding of a community’s environmental issues, which could include the community’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change, and integrate research outcomes with community-based solutions.
  5. Address Cumulative Impacts Through Collaboration Between Community-Based Organizations And Local Government
    Many low-income and minority communities in the state face significant environmental and health problems as a result of the cumulative impacts of pollution. Cumulative impact analysis, with participation from community-based organizations and local government, provides an opportunity for a more complete picture of environmental burdens and impacts by examining multiple chemicals, multiple sources, public health and environmental effects, and characteristics of the population that influence health outcomes.

Application Deadline
Applications must be received at Cal/EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento by 4:00 p.m., September 30, 2014. Applications received after September 30, 2014, will not be accepted. Only mailed or hand-delivered applications will be accepted. E-mailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.