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The Community Environmental Project Fund (CEPF) provides money to support the restoration of the environment in communities that were damaged by environmental pollution.
The fund was created by the Delaware General Assembly in 2004 (74 Del. Laws, c. 203). The legislation authorizes the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to establish a grant fund by withholding 25% of funds collected as penalties for violations of environmental regulations. These funds are returned to the communities where the violations occurred as competitive grants to nonprofit organizations to support community environmental projects.
Eligible community environmental projects must mitigate pollution, enhance the environment, or create recreational opportunities.
Pollution Mitigation Projects — Eliminate, minimize, or reduce environmental pollution and reduce the risks to human health and the environment.
Environmental Enhancement Projects — Enhance natural resources, or improve indigenous habitats.
Recreational Opportunity Projects — Enhance natural resources, improve indigenous habitat in order to create recreation opportunities.
Grant awards are determined by the DNREC Secretary with input from the Community Involvement Advisory Council.
Projects supported by the fund must be in the same drainage basin as the violation for which a fine was collected. Applicants can identify the drainage basin location of their projects with this tool.