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CalEPA grants $1 million to Bay Area groups to fund environmental justice programs

The California Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it’s donating more than $1 million to several organizations in the Bay Area and throughout the state as part of its 2020 Environmental Justice Small Grants program.

Under the initiative, the funds will go towards nonprofit organizations and federal recognized tribal governments supporting vulnerable communities through environmental projects.

According to the CalEPA, the grants are critically needed this year in particular as Covid-19 has disproportionately affected black, brown and indigenous communities.

Todd Lappin/Wikimedia Nearly 400 San Francisco police employees filed a lawsuit November 14, 2019 against Tetra Tech Inc., the environmental remediation company contracted by the U.S. Navy to clear portions of Hunters Point Shipyard from hazardous substances. The lawsuit claims the company misled the Navy about the risks and exposed people to extreme health hazards.

In a statement, CalEPA said:

“These grants may be small in size, but they have huge impacts on the community-led projects they fund address real problems our vulnerable communities are facing today in terms of both equity and economic recovery.”

In the Bay Area, CalEPA has granted $20,333 to the Brightline Defense to fund a series of workshops on wildfire and climate resiliency for tenants and young people; $50,000 to Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates in San Francisco to train and employ 11 residents for community research projects; $49,242 to Earth Team in Contra Costa and Alameda counties to develop climate action hazard plans at local schools; and $49,994 to the Rose Foundation in Alameda County, which trains 25 students from disadvantaged communities how to plant gardens.

Since it’s inception, CalEPA’s grants program has awarded more than $5.4 million to nearly 200 environmental projects throughout the state.

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