Bill Text

Bill Information


Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-2312 Environmental justice: grant program.(2001-2002)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB2312:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2312
CHAPTER 994

An act to add Section 71116 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental justice.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 27, 2002. Approved by Governor  September 27, 2002. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2312, Chu. Environmental justice: grant program.
Existing law requires the California Environmental Protection Agency to develop policies, and implement and coordinate various activities for boards, departments, and offices within the agency relating to environmental justice.
This bill would establish the Environmental Justice Small Grant Program under the jurisdiction of the agency. The bill would require the agency to award grants on a competitive basis to nonprofit entities, as defined, and federally recognized tribal governments, for certain, listed purposes. The bill would require the agency to adopt regulations to implement the grant program. The bill would require the agency to review, evaluate, and select grant recipients, and screen grant applications to ensure that they meet the requirements of the bill. The bill would limit the maximum amount of a grant to $20,000, and would prohibit an individual from receiving a grant. These provisions would be implemented only during fiscal years for which an appropriation is provided for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or in another statute.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 71116 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71116.
 (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 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 of the following are eligible to receive moneys from the fund.
(A) A nonprofit entity.
(B) A federally recognized tribal government.
(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, 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 not receive grant moneys from the fund.
(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:
(1) Resolve environmental problems through 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 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 development or adoption of statutes, guidelines, rules, regulations, plans or any other governmental proposal, or involving decisions concerning siting, permitting, licensing, or any other governmental action.
(C) Litigation, administrative challenges, enforcement action, 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 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 shall review, evaluate, and select grant 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 twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).
(j) For the purposes of this section, “environmental justice” has the same meaning as defined in Section 65040.12 of the Government Code.
(k) This section shall be implemented only during fiscal years for which an appropriation is provided for the purposes of this section in the annual Budget Act or in another statute.