IRWA Chapter 1 Newsletter – Environmental Subcommittee


In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation for the Cleanups in Vulnerable Communities Initiative (CVCI), which allocates $500 million to facilitate remedy and reuse of potentially contaminated properties, with focus on sites in historically vulnerable or disadvantaged communities. Consequently, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is offering more than $200 million in grants through their Equitable Community Revitalization Grant (ECRG) Program. The program will fund inventory, investigation, and cleanup of lands idled by potential contamination in efforts to mitigate burdens to disadvantaged California communities. ECRG will be the vehicle that drives the revitalization of previously dormant land to address environmental injustices and foster healthier, more economically viable and inclusive communities.

ECRG Property Eligibility

DTSC designed the ECRG program to incentivize broad participation from California local governments, qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, and Tribes. Potential applicants do not need to own the property intended for cleanup, but must prove that they have legal access to the area and affirm that they are not responsible for the site contamination. However, to qualify for ECRG funding, sites must meet the federal definition of a brownfield, be slated for reuse, and must be located in a census tract where the CalEnviroScreen (CES) 3.0 score is 75% or higher. Properties below the CES score of 75% can still be considered if the proposed use directly benefits a Tribe, supports rural communities, or provides significant benefits to vulnerable communities (e.g. non-profit community services, medical services, cultural institutions, social services, and uses supporting the unhoused or underhoused).

Activities Covered Under the ECRG

Agencies, Tribes, and nonprofits are open to apply to Community-Wide Assessment (CWA) Grants or Site-Specific Investigation and Cleanup Grants ranging from $80,000 to $300,0000. Alternatively, Site-Specific Investigation Grants can be utilized to determine the type and severity of contamination ranging from $80,000 to $3 million. Lastly, Site-Specific Cleanup Grants are implemented post contamination investigations and support utilizing technologies such as in-situ treatment, excavation and off-site disposal, or other engineered remedies. The $80,000 to $7 Million provided through this grant can fund planning, implementation and reporting costs as well as those associated with the purchase of insurance required to carry out the environmental activities, such as workman’s comp insurance and pollution legal liability.

The inaugural ECRG application period was just completed in April 2022. Agencies, Tribes, and nonprofits are now preparing for Round 2 of the grant applications in FY 2022/23. Information and workshops for the second round of funding will be posted in the Fall of 2022.

For more information, please visit

William O’Braitis, CEG
Environmental Business Unit Leader

Oneida Engineering Solutions (OES)
[email protected]