Funding Will Help Assess and Address Environmental Concerns in Communities Disproportionately Impacted by Pollution
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4.3 million in Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants is available to help communities across New York that are disproportionately impacted by pollution. The funding supports projects that address environmental and public health concerns in low-income communities and communities of color that have historically been burdened by environmental challenges.
"New York is making record investments to protect and strengthen communities across the state, and this funding will build upon that progress to target green projects in places where they are most needed," Governor Cuomo said. "Community Impact Grants are already having a positive impact in neighborhoods across the state and this new round of funding is another opportunity to help further enhance environmental quality, sustainability and conservation."
"We're committed to investing in projects and resources to protect our environment," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This grant program will provide funding for communities across the state to address environmental concerns and pollution. We want to make sure that New Yorkers, particularly those disproportionately impacted by pollution, are healthy and safe. The Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants are part of our ongoing efforts to combat climate change and ensure a cleaner and greener environment for future generations."
Established in 2006, Community Impact Grants fund projects that target environmental and public health benefits in low-income communities and communities of color. Community-based organizations can apply to receive up to $100,000 for projects that address the environmental and public health concerns of residents in impacted neighborhoods. Past funded projects include environmental research, community gardens, tree plantings, education and curriculum development, urban farming, habitat restoration, green infrastructure, and air and water quality monitoring.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York's Community Impact Grant program is helping heal and restore underserved communities that have been historically overburdened with pollution and other environmental issues. We look forward to supporting a new round of projects that will make a real difference in the health, environment, and quality of life in communities across the state."
The grant funding is provided by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) as part of New York State's aggressive Environmental Justice agenda. To help continue the important programs funded by the EPF, the 2019-20 budget sustained its historic funding at $300 million.
Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Todd Kaminsky said, "This is a critical time for New York communities that are vulnerable to pollution, given the federal government's abysmal priorities on environmental protection. New Yorkers deserve clean air and water no matter where they live. The projects supported by Community Impact Grants will give communities the tools necessary to address their unique environmental concerns. These projects are one part of the robust Environmental Justice agenda we have put together for the state."
Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright said, "Too many of New York's residents are plagued by the scourge of pollution in the environment. This initiative will help the environmental justice communities most impacted by these issues. I'm pleased to have worked with the Governor to prioritize funding to help create a healthy environment for the New Yorkers who are most affected by pollution and have only limited resources."
Eligible community-based organizations are those located in the affected community, serving the residents of an area equal to or smaller than a town or city outside of New York City, or an area equal to or smaller than one of the five boroughs within New York City. Further eligibility information is available online at the Grant Opportunity Portal. Projects must address a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and include a new research component that will be used to expand the knowledge of the affected community.
Questions regarding this grant opportunity will be accepted until C.O.B on May 31, 2019. All questions and answers will be uploaded in the Grants Gateway on a rolling basis. 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 for applications is 3 p.m. EST on June 14, 2019. For a complete list of guidelines and more information, contact DEC's Office of Environmental Justice at 518-402-2600, [email protected], or online at DEC's Environmental Justice web page.