WORKSHOP NOTICE: Identification of disadvantaged communities

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) invites you to participate in virtual public workshops to discuss the draft proposed update to its designation of disadvantaged communities. Senate Bill (SB) 535 (De León, Statutes of 2012)   directs CalEPA to identify disadvantaged communities for the purposes of targeting a portion of investments within the California Climate Investments program, which is funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds.

Based upon several years of community outreach, public workshops and stakeholder feedback, CalEPA is releasing a proposal for identifying disadvantaged communities, and with support from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), is hosting the following two identical workshops to receive input and feedback on how disadvantaged communities should be identified in California.

The workshops will be held virtually using the Zoom platform. Please use the hyperlinks in the workshop listings below to register for either event. Spanish interpretation and translation of the materials will be available.  

Date and Time

Virtual Public Workshop Information

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

2 pm – 3:30 pm

Register for the Zoom workshop at:

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

4 pm – 5:30 pm

Register for the Zoom workshop at:

The workshops will begin with a welcome and brief presentation on CalEPA’s proposal and CalEnviroScreen 4.0, and then staff from State agencies will convene multiple breakout rooms forparticipants to provide input and ask questions.

During the week of October 18, 2021, CalEPA will post a document for discussion at the virtual workshops and for written public comment. The discussion document on identifying disadvantaged communities under SB 535 for use in programs funded beginning in the 2022-23 budget year will be available at:


SB 535 and AB 1550: SB 535 directs CalEPA to identify disadvantaged communities for the California Climate Investments program, which is funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds.     Assembly Bill (AB) 1550 (Gomez, Statutes of 2016) requires that a minimum of 25 percent of the proceeds be invested in projects that are located within and benefiting individuals living in disadvantaged communities.

CalEPA previously designated disadvantaged communities as the top 25% scoring census tracts using the current versions of CalEnviroScreen in 2014 and again in 2017. The previous designations reflected public input on the proposal to use CalEnviroScreen. CalEnviroScreen is a mapping tool developed by OEHHA that identifies California communities most affected by pollution and where people are vulnerable to the effects of pollution.

CalEPA plans to use the latest version of the CalEnviroScreen tool to inform the identification of disadvantaged communities. OEHHA recently released CalEnviroScreen Version 4.0, which ranks communities based on 21 indicators that reflect pollution burdens and population   characteristics, at:

Additionally, AB 1550 requires that a minimum of 5 percent of funds be invested in projects that benefit low-income households or communities statewide, and another 5 percent to projects that benefit low-income households or communities that are within a half mile of disadvantaged communities.

California Climate Investments: A statewide initiative that puts Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged and low-income communities. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged communities and low-income communities and households. To learn more, visit the California Climate Investments website (

Written Comments: We welcome written comments on the proposed designation of disadvantaged communities from  October 18, 2021 to November 16, 2021, at 5pm PST, via email to:

Notices for Future Meetings and Materials: If you would like to receive notices of future meetings and the availability of materials on these subjects, please sign up for both the list serves at:  and

Special Accommodation: Consistent with California Government Code Section 7296.2, special accommodation or language needs may be provided for any of the following:

  • An interpreter to be available at the meeting;
  • Documents made available in an alternate format or another language;
  •  A disability-related reasonable accommodation.

To request these special accommodations or language needs, please contact

Brenna Sheldon at (916) 384-8901 or email at  as soon as possible, but no later than 5 business days before the scheduled meeting.

TTY/TDD/Speech to Speech users may dial 711 for the California Relay Service.

Consecuente con la sección 7296.2 del Código de Gobierno de California, una acomodación especial o necesidades lingüísticas pueden ser suministradas para cualquiera de los siguientes:

  • Un intérprete que esté disponible en la audiencia;
  • Documentos disponibles en un formato alterno u otro idioma;
  • Una acomodación razonable relacionados con una incapacidad.

Para solicitar estas comodidades especiales o necesidades de otro idioma, favor de contactar a Brenna Sheldon al (916) 384-8901 o  lo más pronto posible, pero no menos de 5 días de trabajo antes de la junta programada.

TTY/TDD/Personas que necesiten este servicio pueden marcar el 711 para el Servicio de Retransmisión de Mensajes de California.

Questions: If you have any questions on the logistics of the workshops, please contact  Brenna Sheldon at or (916) 384-8901.

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