WASHINGTON (March 21, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of up to $1.6 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support Tribal government efforts to establish or modify programs on environmental justice water and air quality issues. Earlier this year, EPA announced spending plans for the $100 million in ARP funding appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and health outcome disparities, with $50 million being designated to improve ambient air quality monitoring, and $50 million designated to address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities. Congress made up to $1.6 million in ARP funding available to Tribes, recognizing the importance of supporting Tribal public engagement programs and related priorities that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. EPA anticipates awarding 16 to 20 grants nationwide in amounts of up to $100,000 per award.
“This funding opportunity will help ensure that our Tribal Nation partners and their communities are prioritized within EPA’s whole-of-government approach to address environmental challenges,” said JoAnn Chase, Director of the American Indian Environment Office. “This funding also serves as reaffirmation of EPA’s policy, and the Biden Administration’s priority, to advance and integrate environmental justice into all of our work, including our work with federally recognized Tribal governments and indigenous peoples.”
“Our partners in Tribal governments recognize that they, just like us, advance justice by starting with meaningful engagement,” said Matthew Tejada, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice. “We are excited to support their efforts to lift up the voices of the people most impacted by and vulnerable to pollution.”
EPA is committed to assisting federally recognized Tribes in building capacity to establish public participation, community involvement, education, and communication systems to engage with tribal members and others living on tribal lands, as noted in the EPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples.
Projects stemming from this Tribal grant opportunity will help achieve the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.
Applicants interested in this funding opportunity must submit grant proposal packages by May 19, 2022. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on October 1, 2022. To learn more about the pre-application assistance calls and how to apply for funding, visit: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.
For more information about EPA’s programs in Indian Country, visit: Environmental Protection in Indian Country.
For more information on EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, visit: Environmental Justice.