New York State has issued $3 million in Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants to mitigate environmental and public health threats in low-income and minority communities. This funding was included in the expanded Environmental Protection Fund, part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Environmental Justice initiative, in this year’s State Budget. More than $3 million is expected to be distributed to communities around the state.
The Community Impact Grants are administered through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice. DEC officials say that since the program’s launch in 2006 the Department has distributed more than $4 million for 121 Environmental Justice projects statewide.
Not-for-profit community-based organizations are eligible to apply for Community Impact Grants to work on projects that address environmental and public health concerns of the residents in the impacted neighborhood. Organizations are required to have their primary office located in the affected community, serve residents in one city, town or borough and have a total annual revenue less than $3,000,000.
Organizations can request up to $50,000. Projects must address a community’s exposure to multiple harms and risks and include a research component that will be used to expand the knowledge of the affected community. Previous projects awarded by the Department of Environmental Conservation have included citizen science, water/air quality monitoring, urban farming, alternative energy projects, curriculum development, green infrastructure installation and more. A complete list of previous projects and winners is available here.
All applicants are required to register and pre-qualify in the State’s Grants Gateway before applying for a Community Impact Grant. This is a web-based grants management tool used to improve the way grants are administered by the state of New York. Once registered and prequalified, organizations can then apply for the grant in the Grants Gateway. Instructions and application are available here.
The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice will host a webinar on November 30 at 1:30 p.m. to educate organizations on the grants process and answer questions. Register for the webinar here.
The deadline to submit an application for the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant is January 31 at 3 pm. For a complete list of guidelines contact the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice at (866) 229-0497, or email [email protected]