Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1252 Environmental Justice Small Grant Program: advance payments.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Section 71116 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

 (a) The Environmental Justice Small Grant Program is hereby established under the jurisdiction of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The California Environmental Protection Agency shall adopt regulations for the implementation of this section. These regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Specific criteria and procedures for the implementation of the program.
(2) A requirement that each grant recipient submit a written report to the agency documenting its expenditures of the grant funds and the results of the funded project.
(3) Provisions promoting the equitable distribution of grant funds in a variety of areas throughout the state, with the goal of making grants available to organizations that will attempt to address environmental justice issues.
(b) The purpose of the program is to provide grants to eligible community groups, including, but not limited to, community-based, grassroots nonprofit organizations organizations,  that are located in areas adversely affected by environmental pollution and hazards and that are involved in work to address environmental justice issues.
(c) (1) Both All  of the following are eligible to receive moneys from the fund: program: 
(A) A nonprofit entity.
(B) A federally recognized tribal government.
(C) A nonfederally recognized California Native American tribe with nonprofit status or in partnership with a nonprofit organization.
(2) For the  purposes of this section, “nonprofit entity” means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that meets all of the following criteria:
(A) Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or other similar purposes in the public interest.
(B) Is not organized primarily for profit.
(C) Uses its net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand, or any combination thereof, its operations.
(D) Is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, Code  or is able to provide evidence to the agency that the state recognizes the organization as a nonprofit entity.
(3) For the  purposes of this section, “nonprofit entity” specifically excludes an organization that is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal Internal Revenue Code.
(d) Individuals may shall  not receive grant moneys from the fund. program. 
(e) Grant recipients shall use the grant award to fund only the project described in the recipient’s application. Recipients shall not use the grant funding to shift moneys from existing or proposed projects to activities for which grant funding is prohibited under subdivision (g).
(f) Grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that are based in communities with the most significant exposure to pollution. Grants shall be limited to any of the following purposes and no other: other purposes: 
(1) Resolve environmental problems through the  distribution of information.
(2) Identify improvements in communication and coordination among agencies and stakeholders in order to address the most significant exposure to pollution.
(3) Expand the understanding of a community about the environmental issues that affect their community.
(4) Develop guidance on the relative significance of various environmental risks.
(5) Promote community involvement in the decisionmaking process that affects the environment of the community.
(6) Present environmental data for the purposes of enhancing community understanding of environmental information systems and environmental information.
(g) (1) The agency  California Environmental Protection Agency  shall not award grants for, and grant funding shall not be used for, any of the following:
(A) Other state grant programs.
(B) Lobbying or advocacy activities relating to any federal, state, regional, or local legislative, quasi-legislative, adjudicatory, or quasi-judicial proceeding involving the  development or adoption of statutes, guidelines, rules, regulations, plans plans,  or any other governmental proposal, or involving decisions concerning the  siting, permitting, licensing, or any other governmental action.
(C) Litigation, administrative challenges, enforcement action, actions,  or any type of adjudicatory proceeding.
(D) Funding of a lawsuit against any governmental entity.
(E) Funding of a lawsuit against a business or a project owned by a business.
(F) Matching state or federal funding.
(G) Performance of any technical assessment for the  purposes of opposing or contradicting a technical assessment prepared by a public agency.
(2) An organization’s use of funds from a grant awarded under this section to educate a community regarding an environmental justice issue or a governmental process does not preclude that organization from subsequent lobbying or advocacy concerning that same issue or governmental process, as long as the lobbying or advocacy is not funded by a grant awarded under this section.
(h) The agency  California Environmental Protection Agency  shall review, evaluate, and select grant recipients, recipients  and screen grant applications to ensure that they meet the requirements of this section.
(i) The maximum amount of a grant provided pursuant to this section may not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
(j) For the  purposes of this section, “environmental justice” has the same meaning as defined in Section 65040.12 of the Government Code.
(k) The Secretary for Environmental Protection may expend up to one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) per year for the purposes of this section.
(l) Board, Boards,  departments, and offices within the California Environmental Protection Agency may allocate funds from various special funds, settlements, and penalties to implement this program.
(m) (1) The California Environmental Protection Agency may distribute advance payments from a grant awarded under this section for projects providing service to or benefiting disadvantaged or low-income communities.
(2) (A) The first advance payment may equal up to 50 percent of the total award and shall be spent within eight months of the date of receipt unless the California Environmental Protection Agency establishes a different requirement.
(B) The first advance payment shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
(3) The final advance payment, which may be the final grant payment, may be disbursed before the completion of the project and shall be spent within eight months of the date of receipt unless the California Environmental Protection Agency establishes a different requirement.
(4) Recipients of an advance payment shall place the moneys in a noninterest-bearing account until the moneys are expended.
(5) The California Environmental Protection Agency may request an accountability report or impose any other requirements regarding the use of the advance payment to ensure the moneys are used properly.
(6) The California Environmental Protection Agency, at its discretion, may withhold additional advance payments during the current grant term.