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Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and Tribes for Environmental
Programs that Benefit Underserved Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/01/21 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and Tribal organizations and governments for environmental stewardship programs that benefit underserved communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. The program uses grants to strengthen community-based programs that engage overburdened communities and build partnerships to promote environmental wellbeing and improve public health.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to improve the environment and public health conditions of low-income communities and communities of color through the advancement of racial equity and environmental justice. This funding announcement supports the priorities detailed in President Biden’s Executive Order 13985 titled Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government and Executive Order 14008 titled Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. EPA continues to make effective responses to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the climate crisis top priorities. To address these multiple crises, this announcement places emphasis on projects focusing on COVID-19 impacts, as well as climate and disaster resiliency. Additionally, EPA is emphasizing projects addressing diesel pollution in underserved communities living near ports and railyards as part of EPA’s Ports Initiative (see details further described in this solicitation). Finally, to promote equitable accessibility to EPA grant funding and to assist small entities, approximately half of the total available funding under this announcement is intended to be reserved for small non-profit organizations with 10 or fewer full-time employees subject to the quality of applications received and other relevant considerations.

The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program provides funding directly to eligible applicants for projects that help residents of underserved communities understand and address local environmental and public health issues. For purposes of this announcement, 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. In general, the EJSG program awards grants that support community-driven projects designed 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.

For this competition, during the selection process for both tracks, EPA may give special consideration to high ranking applications that focus on the following program priorities:

  1. Public Education, Training, Emergency Planning, and/or Investigations on Impacts of COVID-19 on Underserved Communities and Vulnerable Populations – (UPDATE 4/19/2021) American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds are being made available for projects that address health outcome disparities from pollution and the COVID–19 pandemic and that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in minority populations or low-income populations under: Clean Air Act, section 103 (b)(3) and the Safe Drinking Water Act, section 1442(c)(3). 
  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, EPA may give special consideration 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. 

For information about program goals and project types, see:

For information about Qualified Environmental Statutes for the grant program, see:

Eligible Activities - To be eligible for funding, as noted above, a project must consist of activities that fall within the terms of at least one of the above statutory grant authorities. Projects can address multiple statutes and include multiple eligible activities. Most of the statutes above authorize funding for the following activities:

  • Research
  • Public education
  • demonstration projects
  • Training
  • Monitoring
  • Development
  • Investigations
  • Surveys and studies
  • Experiments

Project Activities Eligible for Ports Initiative Funding – EPA’s Ports Initiative program led by the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) anticipates funding approximately six projects that address clean air issues at coastal and inland ports or rail yards or other relevant projects. For more information, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 130695

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Approximately 100 grants

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $75,000 per award

Term of Contract:

Applicants should still plan for projects to begin on October 1, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Entities based on the Assistance Listing. In accordance with Assistance Listing 66.604, an eligible applicant must be one of the following:

• Incorporated non-profit organizations—including, but not limited to, communitybased organizations, grassroots organizations, environmental justice networks, faith-based organizations and those affiliated with religious institutions;*
• US Territories
• Tribal governments which must be either federally-recognized or state-recognized – including Alaska Native Villages; or
• Tribal organizations
• Freely Associated States (FAS) – including state and local governmental entities and local non-profit organizations in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau

NOTE - In order to qualify for consideration under the small non-profit organization set-aside described in this RFA—an applicant must be a non-profit organization with 10 or fewer full-time employees on staff - interested applicants must submit documentation with their application (such as an employee roster) verifying the number of full-time employees on staff and the associated hours per week and salary/wage details for each full-time employee.

For a list of ineligible entities, see:

Pre-proposal Conference:

EPA will host a Zoom call on Monday, April 26, 2021 that will cover details about the ARP funding for both the FY2021 EJ Small Grants (EJSG) and EJ Collaborative ProblemSolving (EJCPS) funding opportunities.

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Join ZoomGov Meeting
Meeting ID: 161 922 8211
To view or listen to the Pre-Application Assistance Calls & Webinars that took place in March, see the URL for Full Text link below.

May 12, 2021
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (ET)
(Live Call for EJSG and EJCPS on additional funding; en inglés y español)
Join the call here:
Meeting ID: 161 703 5327

Pre-Application Information:

Application packages must be submitted by June 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) through Applications received after the closing date and time will not be considered for funding.

Anticipated Announcements and Award Dates:

- March 2, 2021 EJSG Program announced. Open competition period begins.
- June 1, 2021 Open competition closes.
- June 2021 EPA will review applications for Threshold Eligibility Criteria (Section III). Ineligible applicants will be notified via email with details regarding ineligibility. Notification to ineligible applicants will be sent via email to the contact identified on the submitted SF424 providing brief explanations on the reason(s) for ineligibility. Ineligible applicants may request a debriefing within 15 days of receipt of the correspondence.
- July - August 2021 EPA review panels review, score, and rank eligible applications. EPA will make the final selections for awards. All applicants will be notified of the selection results by mail/email.
September 2021 Regional offices will request required application documentation from selected applicants. Awards will be made by the regional offices.
- October 2021 OEJ will release a national announcement
- Oct – Nov 2021 Virtual EJ Grantee Workshops

DO NOT WAIT! Register in and as soon as possible. Finalizing these registrations could take a month or more. You do not want a late registration to prevent you from being able to properly and timely submit your application through

View this opportunity on

Zoom Call Recording:
Passcode: 26808752

Contact Information:

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

Jacob Burney

Environmental Protection Agency [Mail Code 2201A]
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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