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Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP)


seps2.pngThe Sac Metro Air District's Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Program allows community-based projects to be funded from a portion of the penalties received during settlement enforcement actions. SEPs can improve public health, reduce air pollution, increase environmental compliance, and bring public awareness to neighborhoods most burdened by air pollution.

Applications under Review

This solicitation is now closed. Thank you to all who submitted a project. All applicants will be contacted by the end of October. 

Who can apply?

Any authorized representative of a community-based organization, nonprofit organization, public agency, academic institution, or tribal organization may submit a SEP  proposal. 

Eligible Project Types:

Projects must be in a District Priority Community and fall in at least one of the following categories:

    • Air Pollution Prevention or Reduction: Prevent or reduce air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Air Quality Related Education or Compliance Training: Assist educators, schools, and community groups to conduct training and public awareness campaigns for the business community or the public.
    • Community Air Monitoring: Provide tools to be used by trained members of the public for data collection and enhancement of existing air quality monitoring stations.
    • Environmental Restoration and Protection: Improve or restore the quality of the environment. The project must be related to air quality or climate change.
    • Other: Projects considered on a case-by-case basis if a demonstrated substantial health or environmental benefit are consistent with the District SEP Policy. 

All projects must be:

The District will place approved projects on an eligibility list for up to one year.

 For examples of potential project ideas, go to

 Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Lists & Reports | California Air Resources Board

Additional Resources

FAQ's

General Questions

What is a SEP?

A SEP is an environmentally beneficial project that a violator voluntarily agrees to perform as a condition of settling an enforcement action. A SEP is an activity that the violator would not otherwise have been required to perform. The project should primarily improve air quality and benefit the public or the environment.

Who is a violator?

The business or entity issued a notice of violation from the Air District.

Who is a SEP Recipient?

The organization that submitted the SEP proposal and who will implement the project.

What is a District Priority Community?

District priority communities are communities identified through the AB617 Community Air Protection Program or identified as high to medium sensitivity on SMUD's Sustainable Communities Resource Priorities Map. Use the links below:

How much of a settlement can go towards a SEP?

Up to 50% of a penalty can go to a SEP.

How much funding is available?

Up to $140,000 is currently available for SEP projects.  Due to the variability of violations and settlement agreements, funding for SEPs is available on an irregular basis. Additional funding may be available depending on pending or future settlements.


Application Questions

What should I keep in mind when designing a SEP?

Use the Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Policy as a guide to developing the project concept. Consider the selection criteria. For example:

1. Does my proposal fall into one or more of the Project Categories?

Refer to the eligible project types listed above.

2. Does the project provide any direct emission reduction or reduce exposure to air pollution?

Describe how air emissions or exposure to air pollution is reduced. Be sure to include the specific compounds or air pollutants targeted by the project (e.g. diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds, etc.).

3. Does your project benefit a District Priority Community?

 

District priority communities are communities identified through the District's  AB617 Community Air Protection Program or identified as high to medium sensitivity on SMUD's Sustainable Communities Resource Priorities Map. Refer to the resource section above.

The SEP application will walk you through these questions. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to compliance@airquality.org.

If my SEP proposal is not eligible for listing, can I revise my proposal and resubmit it?

Yes, we will notify you by email regarding why the project was not eligible for listing.  You can revise and resubmit proposals based on the District's feedback as long as the solicitation is still open. You are encouraged to follow up with the District and ask questions.

Can I submit multiple proposals or submit a proposal for an ongoing project?

Yes, you can submit multiple proposals or submit a proposal for an ongoing project that meets the District's qualifying criteria.

For ongoing projects, you should clearly describe the project, the status, milestones achieved, and future milestones or needs to make the project successful.

Can I submit my proposal at any time during the year?

Not at this time. We are only accepting applications during the specified timeframes listed on the SEP webpage. 

What if I have questions in completing my SEP Proposal?

The District recognizes that not all proposals will be fully developed and provides reasonable assistance to help you satisfy the program requirements.  Feel free to reach out to compliance@airquality.org with any questions.

Project Review Questions

What happens once the District receives my application?

District staff will send an email notification indicating that the proposal has been received and is under review. The District will do a quick check to make sure all fields are complete. The application review will begin after the solicitation closes.  Our goal is to notify all applicants of their final project status within 30 days of the solicitation closing.

There are 3 potential outcomes:

  1. Your project meets the qualifying criteria and is approved: We will notify you by email that your project is eligible and place it on our SEP Eligibility List.
  2. Your project tentatively meets the qualifying criteria: We need more information before we can fully approve your project and will reach out for additional information before listing.
  3. Your proposal does not meet qualifying criteria: We will notify you by email why the project was not eligible for listing.

Selected Project Questions

How can my proposal be selected for funding?

When a company or individual has failed to comply with the District's rules and/or regulations, they typically must pay a monetary civil penalty to resolve the violation. The violator can voluntarily agree to fund an eligible SEP to offset up to 50% of the penalty amount. 

For a project to be selected, there typically needs to be a connection between the pollutant and, when possible, the location of where the violation occurred. If there is no eligible project available linked to the pollutant or location, the violator must choose a project in a District Priority Community.

What happens if my proposal is selected for funding?

When a violator selects a SEP for funding, the SEP list is updated to show the project is funded with the amount.  

You will be notified and the details of the project will be added to the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement is between the Violator and the District. Completing your project is now a condition of settling the violation.  The Violator will be responsible for reporting project status updates back to the District.

What should I do after receiving the funds for my project?

As the SEP Recipient, once you receive your funds, you can start work on your project. You will need to report back to the Violator with status updates of your project. The Violator is responsible for reporting back on the project status to the District.

What should I do after my project is completed?

When the scope of work is complete, the Violator will need to submit a final report back to the District.  Their report needs to contain an overview of the accomplished objectives, achieved milestones, and any encountered obstacles during the SEP implementation.

Once the District has received and approved the final report, the original violation will be closed, and the settlement agreement will be complete.

For any additional Supplemental Environmental Project related questions or assistance,  email  compliance@airquality.org or call (279) 207-1122 ext. 14  (Toll-Free: 1-800-880-9025.)

​Promotional Toolkit

Help us spread the word about our Supplemental Environmental Project program! Our promotional toolkit includes social posts, e-blasts, and news articles. 

Download the Word Document Promotional Toolkit

Download the PDF Promotional Toolkit


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