The Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) addendum to its 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program Guidelines/Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) changed the CalEnviroScreen 2.0 score for designating census tracts as disadvantaged communities (DACs) from the top 20 percent to the top 25 percent for the purpose of making grants from Cap-and-Trade proceeds.
RCRC had previously identified 34 counties (many of them RCRC members) that did not have a single DAC census tract identified in the top 20 percent of CalEnviroScreen. RCRC has reviewed this change in percentage to determine which of the 34 counties previously identified may now quality to compete for the $9.5 million for projects located in or outside of a DAC, and that provide direct, meaningful, and assured benefit to DACs. Five additional counties now have census tracts identified as DAC: Butte County (3 census tracts); San Francisco City and County (3 census tracts); Santa Barbara County (2 census tract); Santa Cruz (1 census tract); and, Tehama County (1 census tract).
The 29 counties that do not have a single census tract identified by CalEnviroScreen 2.0 (76 percent or greater score) and will not qualify to compete for the $9.5 million allocated by DWR for DACs are: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, and Tuolumne.
While RCRC understands that the law required the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) to identify “disadvantaged communities” for investment opportunities, and that the source of funding for this program is the GHG Reduction Fund, RCRC is not aware of any requirement that 50 percent of available monies be allocated for CalEnviroScreen identified DACs. This concern has been brought to DWR’s attention.
Additionally, on November 13, 2014 DWR released an Addenda to the 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program Guidelines/Proposal Solicitation Package. The Addenda provided an inaccurate link in the Program Preference section. The updated link can be accessed here. This correct link will direct the applicant to a modified CalEnviroScreen 2.0 tool to determine a DAC value of 76 percent or greater.