November 17, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $3 Million Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $3 Million...

Grants Advance Environmental and Public Health Improvement Projects in Low-Income Communities

Largest Single Grant Round in 10 Years of Major Environmental Justice Initiative 


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $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 Cuomo's aggressive Environmental Justice initiative, in this year’s State Budget. More than $3 million will be distributed to communities around the state, the most ever offered in a single grant round in the decade-long existence of the initiative.

"These grants empower residents to address the environmental concerns that directly affect where they live, and during the last 10 years, remarkable progress has been made one neighborhood at a time," Governor Cuomo said. "With this major increase in funding, we will expand the reach of the program to combat this inequality and address environmental justice concerns in even more communities across New York."

The Community Impact Grants are administered through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice. Since the program's launch in 2006, the Department of Environmental Conservation has distributed more than $4 million for 121 Environmental Justice projects statewide.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced today’s record Environmental Justice funding at the New York City Sustainable Development & Collaborative Governance Conference.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Governor Cuomo has prioritized lifting up all communities across the state through strategic investments in every region,” who announced today’s record Environmental Justice funding. By focusing on environmental and public health projects, these grants will directly impact vulnerable New Yorkers and improve their quality of life."

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Supporting community based efforts to improve environmental quality and protect public health is essential, and I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past decade of this program. The increased EPF funding provided this year will further enhance, and jumpstart new, projects in many EJ communities across the state, and I look forward to continuing to grow this important program in the years ahead."

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 prequalify in the 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. 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 any questions they may have. Register for the webinar here.

The deadline to submit an application for the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant is January 31 at 3 p.m. For a complete list of guidelines more information, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation's Office of Environmental Justice at 866.229.0497, [email protected] or

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office