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Environmental Justice Grant Supplement A. Evaluation of Project Proposals

The rationale for scoring and evaluating Project proposals is derived from the following:

The Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant and Green Gems Grant applications for 2012 are now closed.

Project Eligibility Requirements

  1. Application Timeliness: The application must be postmarked or hand delivered no later than 5:00 PM, Friday, April 5, 2013.
  2. Application Completeness: The application form and all attachments must be complete.
  3. Applicant Eligibility: The applicant must be a community group, or multiple community groups in partnership, located in the affected community, with more than fifty percent of its members living in the affected community; be a Not-For-Profit Corporation (NFP) or partner with a NFP that will serve as a fiscal sponsor for the applicant; and declare that it has not caused or contributed to the environmental harms or risks to be the subject of the Project. See the Information for Applicants page for more information on eligibility.
  4. Requested Funds: The funds requested must be $10,000 to $50,000 for a Community Impact Grant application or $2,500 to $10,000 for a Green Gems Grant application.
  5. Harms and Risks: The proposed Project must address a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.
  6. Research: The Project must include a research component.
  7. Education and Communication: The Project must expand the community residents' knowledge or understanding about the multiple environmental harms and risks.
  8. Applicant Benefit: If the Applicant Community Organization has a fiscal sponsor, the fiscal sponsor cannot receive more than ten percent (10%) of the total value of the Project Budget (as submitted by the Applicant Organization) for expenses related to administration of the grant. If the Fiscal Sponsor will assist in carrying out the Project, the fiscal sponsor cannot receive more than forty percent (40%) of the total value of the Project Budget for all of the sponsor's expenses. For a Green Gems Grant, the fiscal sponsor cannot receive more than 25% of the total grant award.
  9. Payment to Individual: No more than thirty percent (30%) of the total value of the grant award can be paid to any single individual under Paid Staff or Contractual Services, including fringe benefit payments. For a Green Gems Grant, no more than 20% of the total grant award can go to a single individual.

Immediately after the deadline for the submission of applications, all applications received will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Completeness and eligibility will be assessed based on the Application Checklist and the requirements listed above. Completeness and eligibility will be evaluated on a YES/NO basis. Proposals that receive a NO for any of the completeness and eligibility requirements will not be considered for funding. Projects that are found to be complete and eligible will then be evaluated and scored based on the following priorities and evaluation factors.

Priorities and Evaluation Criteria

Each application will be evaluated by a team of DEC Central Office and Regional staff with expertise in the subject matter of the respective Project. A maximum of 100 points may be awarded to each application and the applications will be ranked as described in the Information for Applicants section of these instructions. Applications scoring less than 70 will be ineligible for funding. Points up to the amount shown will be awarded for the following criteria for Community Impact Grant (CIG) and Green Gems Grant applications:

1. Letter of Support (CIG 5 points):

Applications that include a letter of support will be awarded additional points in the Application scoring. Does not apply to Green Gems Grant applications.

2. Community Demographics (CIG 15 points; Green Gems 25 points):

More points will be given to Projects that serve:

  1. A minority and/or low-income community, as defined in DEC Commissioner Policy 29, Environmental Justice and Permitting. Maps showing these areas, called Potential Environmental Justice Areas, are available online for each county; OR
  2. Census tracts and block numbering areas which, as of the 2000 U.S. Census, had a poverty rate of at least twenty percent and an unemployment rate of at least 125 percent of the New York State average; OR
  3. Census tracts and block numbering areas which, as of the two thousand Census, had a poverty rate of at least two times the poverty rate for the county in which the tract is located.

The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) has designated census tracts that meet these second and third criteria as Environmental Zones. Maps of Environmental Zones in each county can be found on the ESDC Brownfield Redevelopment website at http://www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/BrownfieldCleanupTracts.html (See link in right column of this page).

Note: The ESDC has designated the Environmental Zones for the purpose of providing tax incentives for brownfield redevelopment. The Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants ARE NOT related in any way to the Brownfield Redevelopment tax incentives. The link to the ESDC Brownfield Redevelopment website is provided here only as a reference to the Environmental Zone maps.

3. Multiple sources of pollution (CIG 5 points):

More points will be given to Projects that examine the effects of pollution from more than one source, including but not limited to multiple industrial facilities and transportation related pollution. Does not apply to Green Gems Grant applications.

4. Public Health (CIG 10 points):

More points will be given to Projects that examine and/or address public health concerns. Does not apply to Green Gems Grant applications.

5. Environmental benefits (CIG 15 points; Green Gems 15 points):

Proposed Projects will be reviewed and assessed regarding the potential environmental benefits to the community likely to accrue from the Project.

6. Project Effectiveness (CIG 15 points; Green Gems 25 points):

The methods proposed for accomplishing the proposed Project will be carefully evaluated. The methods should have a high likelihood of being able to accomplish the goals and objectives proposed for the Project.

7. Economic Benefit (CIG 5 points; Green Gems 5 points):

Project selection shall take into consideration the recommendation of the relevant regional economic development council or the Commissioner's determination that the proposed project aligns within the regional strategic priorities of the region. See Supplement B, Regional Economic Development Council Recommendation, for more information.

8. Cost Effectiveness (CIG 30 points; Green Gems 30 points):

Proposed Projects will be reviewed and assessed based upon the cost effective nature of the proposal. Proposed Projects with clearly written budgets that are deemed cost effective will be awarded higher points.