Environmental Protection Agency: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) program provides funding for projects that help residents of underserved communities understand and address local environmental and public health issues. The term,  “underserved community” refers to a community with environmental justice concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including people of color, low income, rural, tribal, indigenous, and homeless populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks.

The EJSG program generally awards grants that support community-driven projects to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand and address local environmental and public health issues. Community-driven projects are projects that include activities where community residents and/or representatives are integrally involved in the thinking behind and execution of those activities. Therefore, applying organizations should have a direct connection to the underserved community impacted by environmental harms and risks.

The EJSG program is giving special consideration to applications that focus on the following program priorities:

1) Impacts of COVID-19. EPA may give special consideration to projects that address the impacts that the current COVID-19 pandemic has on underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Applicants may use funding to conduct public education, training, outreach, investigations and/or develop plans and programs to specifically work on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on communities. Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative plans and processes to conduct effective outreach to underserved communities in the midst of social-distancing and local stay-at-home orders, especially in places where internet access may not be readily available to all residents. To qualify for this special consideration, applications must address the impacts of COVID-19 through eligible activities. Examples of eligible activities include (but are not limited to):

* Sharing information related to EPA-approved disinfectants to combat COVID-19 (List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2; see: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2)
* Addressing underserved residents’ increased exposure to in-home air or water pollutants and healthy housing issues as an unintended consequence of local stay-at-home orders
* Training of community health workers as community educators for environmental justice communities

2) Projects addressing climate, disaster resiliency, and/or emergency preparedness. The effects of climate change and extreme weather events tend to adversely impact the most vulnerable communities and populations disproportionately. Therefore, special consideration may be given to projects that address the needs of underserved and vulnerable communities that have been adversely impacted or are likely to be adversely impacted by natural disasters, including, but not limited to, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and future pandemics.

Projects must include activities related to at least one of the following federal environmental statutes.

1. Clean Air Act: Conduct research, investigations, experiments, demonstration projects, surveys, and studies (including monitoring) related to the causes, effects (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention, and control of air pollution.
2. Clean Water Act: Conduct and promote the coordination of research, investigations, training, demonstration projects, surveys, and studies (including monitoring) relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.
3. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act: Conduct research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstration projects, and studies on pesticides.
4. Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act: Conduct research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstration projects, surveys, and studies relating to the minimizing or ending of ocean dumping of hazardous materials and the development of alternatives to ocean dumping.
5. Safe Drinking Water Act: Develop and expand the capability to carry out a program (that may combine training, education, and employment) for occupations relating to the public health aspects of providing safe drinking water.
6. Solid Waste Disposal Act: Conduct and promote the coordination of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstration projects, surveys, public education programs, and studies relating to solid waste (e.g., health and welfare effects of exposure to materials present in solid waste and methods to eliminate such effects).
7. Toxic Substances Control Act: Conduct research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstration projects, and studies on toxic substances.

Amount: $2,800,000 will be available nationwide to make up to 56 awards of up to $50,000 each. Awards are for one-year project periods. Approximately half ($1,400,000) will be set aside to award organizations who have 10 or fewer full-time employees on staff, and $300,000 set aside for approximately six Ports Initiative projects.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations including, environmental justice networks, faith based organizations, and those affiliated with religious institutions; tribal governments; and tribal organizations.

Note: The EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Program (EJCPS) is a separate solicitation that is currently open. EJCPS funding is designed for organizations that are more established and familiar with federal grants, while EJSG funding is designed for organizations that are: 1) just starting out, 2) have smaller staffs and operating budgets, and/or 3) have never received a federal grant before. Note that an applicant can receive a grant under only one of these programs. See either solicitation for a detailed chart that is helpful in determining which competition to apply for.

Resource Information
Funder Environmental Protection Agency
Eligibility Nonprofit Organization, Tribal Government, Tribal Organization
Resource URL: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=331855
Sector COVID-19 Emergency Response, Environment
Grant Amount $0-$50,000
Deadline May 7, 2021