SEATTLE (December 15, 2021). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it has awarded grants in the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program to over $22 million to 257 tribes in Alaska, Idaho and Washington.
Tribes play a vital role in protecting the environment and public safety in the region. said Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA Region 10 Acting Regional Administrator. EPA grant funds are vital to tribes in order to sustain and grow their environmental programs as well as protect their natural resources and communities for future generations..
Indian Environmental General Assistance ProgramTribes can use funding to develop environmental protection programs and make informed choices about issues that affect their health and the environment. GAP grants help tribes develop environmental plans and prioritize, seek technical assistance, do research, and provide outreach education to build the foundations for successful environmental programs.
GAP grants have been a boon for tribes in Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest Develop, plan and implement core programs for environmental protection. GAP grants have also been used to help tribes plan for climate change and develop solid waste management plans. They also educated and engaged local communities in the implementation of priority environmental projects.
This work is illustrated by:
- GAP and federal funding Chugach Regional Resources CommissionThe Alutiiq pride Marine Institute and its Alutiiq Marina Institute are working with tribes in Southcentral AlaskaTo conduct outreach, train and collect baseline data about ocean water quality, harmful algae blooms and climate change. This educational video highlights their work: South Central Alaska Community Sampling for Ocean Acidification.
- GAP funds played a crucial role in this summer’s success Fort Hall Reservation Shoshone Bannock TribesThe Tribes provided timely air quality information to Idaho as wildfire smoke from California emigrated towards Oregon. The Tribes provide air quality alerts and information on how to build DIY fan air filters for healthier indoors during wildfire smoke events.
- EPA Performance Partnership Grants that support the use of GAP funds. Confederated Tribes (Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw) in OregonTo be approved by the EPA to administer the Clean Water Acts water-quality standards and certification program. The Jamestown SKlallam TribeWashington also used the funding to prepare a treatment application in a similar way as a state under Clean Water Act. These approvals will allow the tribes to set their own water quality goals.
The EPA is inviting eligible tribes and tribal consortia to submit proposals for funding in 2023 from Region 10. You can find more information on the EPA website. Region 10 Tribal Environmental GAP Funding website.
More information about EPAs’ work with Region 10 tribes can be found at EPAs Tribal Programs for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska website. More information about EPAs GAP Program is available at EPAs Indian Environmental General Assistance Program website.
EPAs Region 10 serves communities throughout Alaska, Idaho and Washington. Learn more about EPAs in the Pacific Northwest at epa.gov/epa-region-10-pacific-northwest. Connect with us on Twitter @EPAnorthwestFacebook: @eparegion10.