On May 2, 2019, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $4.3 million in Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants is now available to help revitalize communities across New York that are disproportionately impacted by pollution.
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 funding supports projects that address environmental remediation to reduce 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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at DEC’s Environmental Justice web page.
Photo (courtesy of Sustainable South Bronx) is of Bryant Hill Community Garden in Bronx, New York.