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Environmental Justice Grant Programs

Community Impact Grants

Administration of Capacity Building Grants opportunity is now closed.

DEC's Office of Environmental Justice offers Community Impact Grants to provide community-based organizations with funding for projects that address various environmental and public health concerns. The program has a particular focus on low-income and minority communities that have historically been burdened by environmental problems. Those environmental problems include a large number of regulated facilities; contaminated sites; noise, air and water pollution; health problems and lack of green space and waterfront access. The Community Impact Grants empower stakeholders to be actively engaged in finding solutions to the disproportionate burdens that EJ communities may experience.

The Community Impact Grants have been an important source of support for communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and toxins. The grants have helped communities generate data through community-based science and have helped to engage residents in addressing and understanding the challenges and opportunities for improving community health, safety, and sustainability. These grants are essential support for engaging underserved communities throughout the state.

The Community Impact Grants program started in 2006. Since its inception, DEC's Office of Environmental Justice has awarded more than $5 million in 145 grants to organizations statewide that have made exceptional improvements in the communities they serve. Projects that have been funded include: research, community gardens, tree plantings, education and curriculum development, urban farming training, habitat restoration, water quality monitoring, air quality monitoring and more.

Prequalification Requirement

Pursuant to the New York State Division of Budget Bulletin H-1032, dated June 7, 2013, New York State has instituted key reform initiatives to the grant contract process which require not-for-profits to register in the Grants Gateway and complete the Vendor Prequalification process in order for proposals to be evaluated. Information on these initiatives can be found on the Grants Reform Website.

Please review the RFA for in the Grants Gateway for more information on application due date and eligibility. Proposals not received by the proposal date in the RFA can not be evaluated. Such proposals will be disqualified from further consideration.

Below is a summary of the steps that must be completed to meet registration and prequalification requirements. The Vendor Prequalification Manual on the Grants Reform Website details the requirements and an online tutorial are available to walk users through the process.

  1. Register for the Grants Gateway.
    • On the Grants Reform Website, download a copy of the Registration Form for Administrator. A signed, notarized original form must be sent to the Division of Budget at the address provided in the instructions. You will be provided with a Username and Password allowing you to access the Grants Gateway.

      If you have previously registered and do not know your Username please email . If you do not know your Password please click the Forgot Password link from the main log in page and follow the prompts.
  2. Complete your Prequalification Application.
    • Log in to the Grants Gateway. If this is your first time logging in, you will be prompted to change your password at the bottom of your Profile page. Enter a new password and click SAVE.
    • Click the Organization(s) link at the top of the page and complete the required fields including selecting the State agency you have the most grants with. This page should be completed in its entirety before you SAVE. A Document Vault link will become available near the top of the page. Click this link to access the main Document Vault page.
    • Answer the questions in the Required Forms and upload Required Documents. This constitutes your Prequalification Application. Optional Documents are not required unless specified in this Request for Proposal.
    • Specific questions about the prequalification process should be referred to your agency representative or to the Grants Reform Team at
  3. Submit Your Prequalification Application
    • After completing your Prequalification Application, click the Submit Document Vault Link located below the Required Documents section to submit your Prequalification Application for State agency review. Once submitted the status of the Document Vault will change to In Review.
    • If your Prequalification reviewer has questions or requests changes you will receive email notification from the Gateway system.
    • Once your Prequalification Application has been approved, you will receive a Gateway notification that you are now prequalified to do business with New York State.

Vendors are strongly encouraged to begin the process as soon as possible in order to participate in this opportunity.

Administration of Environmental Justice Capacity Building Grants

The selected administrator will provide grants to help environmental justice focused community-based organizations develop administrative, technical, and programmatic capacity and expand services protecting public health and the environment. $1 million is available from the Environmental Protection Fund to support implementation and administration of a capacity building grants program.

In 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a proposal to solicit an established not-for-profit to administer streamlined capacity building grants to community based organizations focused on addressing environmental justice issues. Established not for profit organizations with demonstrated knowledge of environmental justice, a history of prioritizing environmental justice issues, and experience building a diverse and inclusive environmental movement are eligible for this solicitation. Please refer to the Request for Applications (PDF, 472 KB) for more eligibility criteria.

In accordance with the Scope of Work provided in Appendix II of the Request for Applications, the selected Administrator will distribute $900,000 and retain the remaining $100,000.

Applications are due February 15, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST. Organizations must apply on the New York State Grants Gateway (link leaves DEC's website). Applications will not be evaluated if the applicant is not registered and pre-qualified on the Grants Gateway.

Important dates to remember:

Application Period Begins: December 6, 2018
Question & Answer Period Ends: January 25, 2019
Application Due Date: 3:00 pm, February 15, 2019

Vital Brooklyn

The Vital Brooklyn Grant deadline has been extended.

DEC is extending the application deadline for the second round of Vital Brooklyn Green Job Training Grants to Thursday, December 13, 2018. The grants supporting training programs in the green sector, such as solar installation, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture, are part of Governor Cuomo's $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn community development and wellness initiative. Visit the Grants Gateway for more information and to apply.

Governor Cuomo announced a series of major milestones in the groundbreaking Vital Brooklyn initiative that will transform the central Brooklyn region by addressing chronic social, economic, and health disparities. To further the goal of economic empowerment, the Office of Environmental Justice released a competitive grant program to fund green jobs training programs in central Brooklyn to help prepare residents for emerging job opportunities in the growing clean, green economy. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit corporation (NFP) community-based organizations located in the following Assembly Districts of central Brooklyn:

  • AD 42 - Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte
  • AD 43 - Assembly member Diana C. Richardson
  • AD 53 - Assembly member Maritza Davila
  • AD 54 - Assembly member Erik M. Dilan
  • AD 55 - Assembly member Latrice Walker
  • AD 56 - Assembly member Tremaine Wright
  • AD 57 - Assembly member Walter T. Mosley
  • AD 58 - Assembly member N. Nick Perry
  • AD 60 - Assembly member Charles Barron

If you are uncertain of your district representative, use the NYS Assembly Member Search (link leaves DEC's website) feature.

Community Based Organizations may submit proposals that will support environmental workforce development and job training programs that will recruit, train, and provide residents of Central Brooklyn with the skills needed to secure employment in the green sector. Eligible green sector fields include, but are not, but are not limited to:

  • Clean or renewable energy:
    • Solar
    • Wind
    • Energy efficiency
  • Green Infrastructure:
    • Rain gardens
    • Permeable pavements
    • Land restoration
  • Urban agriculture:
    • Community gardens

Applications will be accepted until 3:00 PM EST December 13, 2018.

Additional information on this grant opportunity, including applicant eligibility and eligible projects, can be found on the New York State Grants Gateway (link leaves DEC's website). An eligible community-based organization may partner with a NFP that will serve as their fiscal sponsor. For more information, including eligibility, please see the Request for Applications (RFA). The RFA is provided for reference only. All eligible applicants must apply on the Grants Gateway.

A recording of the Vital Brooklyn Grant Application Webinar (link leaves DEC's website) can be found on YouTube.

Urban Environmental Education Centers

This opportunity is now closed. Recipients of this grant can be found on the Recent Grant Awards page

Governor Cuomo announced $1 million in new grants for the development of Urban Environmental Education Centers (Centers). Education plays a critical role in the Governor's efforts to combat climate change, grow the clean energy economy, and protect public health and the environment. This new grant opportunity furthers the Governor's environmental justice and education platform by supporting community-based organizations in their efforts to educate residents on environmental issues. These Centers will explore a broad range of topics such as urban ecology, environmental justice challenges, green technology, and urban environmental sustainability.

More about Environmental Justice Grant Programs: