WASHINGTON — Tribal governments are receiving up to $1.6 million in U.S. Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to help establish or modify programs on environmental justice water and air quality issues.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in its statement that Congress has earmarked $100 million in ARP funding, and the EPA announced its spending plan earlier this year.
Half of these funds are dedicated to improving the monitoring of ambient air quality, and the other half to the fight against disproportionate harm and risk to the environment or public health in underserved communities.
Congress has allocated $1.6 million to the tribes, recognizing the great value of support”Tribal public engagement programs and related priorities that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the EPA said.
“This funding opportunity will help ensure that our Tribal Nation partners and their communities are prioritized as part of EPA’s whole-of-government approach to addressing environmental challenges,” JoAnn Chase, director of the American Indian Environment Office, said in the statement. “This funding also serves as a reaffirmation of EPA policy and the Biden administration’s priority to advance and integrate environmental justice into all of our work, including our work with tribal governments. and federally recognized Indigenous peoples.”
“Our tribal government partners recognize that they, like us, are advancing justice by starting with meaningful engagement,” Matthew Tejada, director of the Office of Environmental Justice, said in the statement. “We are delighted to support their efforts to raise the voices of those most affected and vulnerable to pollution.”
To apply, submit grant proposals by May 19. The EPA said applicants should plan to start projects on Oct. 1.
The EPA said it plans to distribute 16 to 20 grants nationwide for amounts up to $100,000 per grant.