SB 535 Disadvantaged Communities

Disadvantaged Community Designation (Updated June 2017)

Disadvantaged communities in California are specifically targeted for investment of proceeds from the State’s cap-and-trade program. These investments are aimed at improving public health, quality of life and economic opportunity in California’s most burdened communities at the same time reducing pollution that causes climate change. 

Authorized by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), the cap-and-trade program is one of several strategies that California uses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The funds must be used for programs that further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

In 2012, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 535 (de Leon), directing that 25 percent of the proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund go to projects that provide a benefit to disadvantaged communities.  The legislation gave CalEPA responsibility for identifying those communities.  In 2016, the Legislature passed AB 1550 (Gomez), which now requires that 25 percent of proceeds from the fund be spent on projects located in disadvantaged communities.

Following a series of public workshops in February 2017, CalEPA released its list of disadvantaged communities for the purpose of SB 535 in April 2017. To inform its decision, CalEPA used the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 results. In June 2018, OEHHA issued an update of CalEnviroScreen 3.0 results to address a minor flaw in the software program algorithm used to calculate overall census tract scores. Because of this update, CalEPA has added two census tracts to its Disadvantaged Communities List for Climate Investments in accordance with CalEPA’s designation report. These are census tract numbers 6067000800 (Sacramento) and 6075012301 (San Francisco). No other changes have been made to the list of disadvantaged communities. The maps and results available below reflect this June 2018 update.

For more information on SB 535 and AB1550 implementation, go to the Cal EPA page on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Investments to Benefit Disadvantaged Communities and ARB's page on Disadvantaged and Low-income Communities Investments.

Disadvantaged Communities Map

Disadvantaged communities are defined as the top 25% scoring areas from CalEnviroScreen along with other areas with high amounts of pollution and low populations. More information can be found in CalEPA's report on Designation of Disadvantaged Communities.

Click to open this map in a new window


Download SB 535 CalEnviroScreen Data

In addition to the interactive map above, SB 535 disadvantaged communities data is available for download in other formats:

Service URL: ArcGIS feature service:


Additional information as well as the previous identification of disadvantaged communities from 2014 using CalEnviroScreen 2.0 is available on the CalEPA page.