The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has up to $1.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding available to support Tribal government efforts to establish or modify programs on environmental justice water and air quality issues. Earlier this year, USEPA announced spending plans for the $100 million in ARPA funding appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and health outcome disparities.
There is $50 million designated to address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities and $50 million designated to improve ambient air quality monitoring. Congress made up to $1.6 million in ARPA 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. USEPA anticipates awarding 16 to 20 grants nationwide in amounts of up to $100,000 per award.
The USEPA says it 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 USEPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples.
Projects stemming from the 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 20, 2022. Applicants shouldplan for projects to begin on October 1, 2022. To learn about the application process, visit: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.