New Round of Funding to Help Address Environmental Concerns in Communities Historically and Disproportionately Impacted by Pollution

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $4.1 million in Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants is available to help communities historically and disproportionately impacted by pollution address environmental concerns. Funding for the latest round of grants is provided by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, as part of New York’s aggressive Environmental Justice agenda, announced during the Department of Environmental Conservation’s week-long celebration of Earth Day 2021.

“With these grants, we are honoring our commitment to delivering environmental justice and investing in communities that for too long have unfairly borne the brunt of pollution,” Governor Cuomo said. “This investment in the health of our communities is part of our ongoing efforts to combat climate change and to help ensure that all New Yorkers stand to benefit from our state’s transition to cleaner energy sources.”  

Since 2006, DEC has awarded more than $7 million in Community Impact Grants to community-based organizations for projects that engage communities around environmental justice issues and spur community-driven solutions. Community-based organizations can apply to receive up to $100,000 in funding for projects that address environmental and public health concerns of residents in impacted neighborhoods. Previous projects awarded by DEC include public participatory science, locally led water and air quality monitoring, urban farming, habitat restoration, alternative energy projects, curriculum development, and green infrastructure installation. For a complete list of previously funded projects, visit Open Data NY.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York’s Community Impact Grants support the work of community-based organizations doing  the hard work of improving and protecting the environment and empowering local residents. I encourage community organizations across the state to learn more about this program and apply to help our work advancing environmental justice in New York.”

Eligible, community-based organizations are located in the affected community, serve 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, and have a total annual revenue less than $3 million. Additional eligibility information is available online at the Grant Opportunity Portal.

Projects must address a community’s exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks 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 5 p.m. on June 17, 2021. All questions and answers will be added 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 July 1, 2021. For a complete list of guidelines and more information, contact DEC’s Office of Environmental Justice at 518-402-2600,, or online at DEC’s Environmental Justice web page.

To help sustain critical programs like the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant Program, the 2021-22 budget sustained the Environmental Protection Fund at a historic $300 million.