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Grants to California Nonprofits and Tribal Governments
to Address Environmental Pollution and Hazards

Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/13/21 11:59 PM EST Email Submission or Postmarked by Date


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Grants of up to $50,000 to California nonprofit organizations and tribal governments to address environmental justice challenges. Funding is intended for initiatives based in communities that are unjustifiably impacted by environmental hazards and pollution or are especially sensitive to environmental pollution due to socio-economic factors.

“Environmental justice” is defined in Government Code section 65040.12 as “the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

Grants will be awarded for the following statutory purposes:

  1. Distribution of information to help resolve environmental problems;
  2. Identification of improvements in communication and coordination between stakeholders and CalEPA, and its Boards, Departments, and Office (BDOs), in order to address the most significant exposure(s) to pollution;
  3. Improvement of community or tribal government understanding about environmental issues that affect neighborhoods and/or tribal governments;
  4. Promotion of community or tribal government involvement in the decision-making process that affects the environment of the community or Tribe; and
  5. Enhancement of community/tribal government understanding of environmental information systems and environmental information.

Priority projects may include one or more of the following goals: 

  • Develop Community-Led Solutions to Climate Change Mitigation, Adaption, and Resilience Challenges
  • Improve Access to Safe and Clean Water
  • Reduce Pollution, Exposure to Pesticides, and Toxic Chemicals, and Promote Resource Conservation
  • Build and Strengthen Collaborative Efforts to Enhance Local Capacity and to Uplift and Build Community Knowledge
  • Engage California Communities and Tribes in Multi-Benefit and Cooperative Strategies to Protect and Restore Biodiversity, and Natural and Cultural Resources

For details on each of the above goals, see:

Examples of Projects Activities:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166539

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Available Per Project: $50,000

Term of Contract:

The grant term will be 18 months, approximately from fall 2021 through Spring 2023.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit entities or federally recognized Tribal governments. A “nonprofit 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 nonprofit entity.

Individuals and organizations that are tax exempt under federal Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4) are not eligible to apply for this funding. Other IRS 501(c) tax-exempt organizations that are not specifically 501(c)(3) are not eligible.

Ineligible Costs:

Pre-proposal Conference:

July 2021 Webinar.

Potential applicants are invited to participate in a virtual online webinar jointly hosted by CalEPA and CARB on July 28, 2021 to highlight how to develop and write an effective grant proposal. No RSVP necessary. Interested persons will be able to access the pre-application assistance webinar through Zoom.

Wednesday July 28, 2021
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM, PST
Join By Phone: Toll Free Phone Number (888) 278-0296 (Toll Free)
Meeting ID 880 1386 0177

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline has been extended and is now August 13, 2021. Applications must be either mailed or emailed by Friday, August 13, 2021. Hand-delivered applications will not be accepted at the CalEPA Headquarters Building.

Mailed Applications:
Mailed applications must be submitted no later than August 13, 2021, to the CalEPA Headquarters Building. Mailed applications must submitted and postmarked by the US Postal Service before or on August 13, 2021. Large commercial delivery (e.g., UPS, FedEx, or Golden State Delivery) service confirmations before or on August 13, 2021 are also acceptable. Applications postmarked after the final August 13 deadline date will not be accepted or considered.

Emailed Applications:
Emailed applications must be emailed to the CalEPA Environmental Justice Program email box no later than 11:59 pm, Pacific Standard Time (PST), August 13, 2021. Applications received after 11:59 pm, PST, August 13, 2021 deadline to the CalEPA EJ Program email box will not be accepted or considered.

Grant Timeline:
- Nov 2020 – March 2021: 2021 Grant Application Package Development
- March 29, 2021: Request for Applications and Press Release
- August 13, 2021: Grant Application Deadline
- Summer 2021: Grant Application Review
- Summer 2021: Grant Project Selection, Press Release – Grant Award Selections Announced
- Fall 2021: Grant Agreements and Notice To Proceed Letter Sent Out
- October 2021: Grant Term and Project Period Begins

Only one application per applicant will be considered for a given project. Applicants may submit more than one application if the applications are for separate and distinct projects.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Mail applications to:

CalEPA Headquarters Building
P.O. Box 2815
Sacramento, CA 95812-2815

Email applications to:

For clarification on this year’s CalEPA EJ Small Grants solicitation, please contact:
Malinda Dumisani, Manager
Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
Phone: 916-601-9893

General Questions Regarding EJ Grants Contact:
Leticia Syslo
(916) 323-2514

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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