Community Involvement Fund
Focus Area: Environment, Leadership & Civic Involvement
Service Area: Nationwide (Communities surrounding Department of Energy–Environmental Management Sites)
Affecting public health and the environment through civic involvement. In October 2010, the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management to launch a Community Involvement Fund (CIF).
The project is intended to increase public participation in the DOE’s environmental cleanup efforts at nuclear waste sites nationwide. NMCF will use the fund to extend grants to qualified nonprofit organizations nationwide that represent communities and residents that are most likely to be affected by the DOE environmental cleanup processes and decisions.
As community representatives, grantees are responsible for researching and reporting on environmental management projects, activities and decisions at cleanup sites in or around their communities.
Increasing Public Involvement and Awareness
Specifically, the Community Involvement Fund is expected to:
- Increase public involvement at DOE sites and in the environmental management decision-making process
- Assist stakeholder groups in analyzing environmental management plans and proposals, including building understanding of cleanup models and data as well as alternatives for cleanup
- Increase public awareness of the impact of contaminants released into the environment during the cleanup process, as well as understanding of how priorities are established for cleanup and safety purposes
- Build long term regional and national support for a successful DOE cleanup program that is responsive to public input
- Provide opportunity for community groups to propose alternative plans that may achieve better cleanup results
- Provide accountability and transparency for the Environmental Management Program and its cleanup activities
If the project is successful, DOE funding to NMCF has the potential to be renewed for five consecutive years up to a total value of $5 million.
To learn more about this unique project, please visit the CIF Web site at cif.nmcf.org