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EPA Grants Support Tribal Environmental Programs in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska

Release Date: 11/07/2014
Contact Information: Judy Smith, Public Affairs Specialist, smith.judy@epa.gov, 503-326-6994

(Seattle – November 7, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $31.8 million in funding for the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) capacity building grants to Tribes and Inter-Tribal Consortia in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The funding helps tribes develop environmental protection programs and make informed decisions about issues that impact the health of their people and the quality of their environment. Since its inception, the EPA’s GAP program has played a critical role in achieving environmental progress and facilitating government-to-government relationships between tribes and the EPA.

Tribes and tribal consortia in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest will use the funding for a wide variety of projects including community and open dump cleanups, documenting climate change, emergency response planning, identifying invasive species, recycling, watershed protection, youth environmental education, and research and education on mining impacts. Tribes also use GAP funding for training and staff development, seeking technical assistance, creating environmental plans, leveraging resources from and developing partnerships with other entities, and community outreach and education – the building blocks of successful environmental programs.

“Almost half – 271 -- of the federally recognized tribes in the nation are in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest,” said David Allnutt, Director of the EPA Region 10 Office of Ecosystems, Tribes and Public Affairs. The Indian Environmental General Assistance Program is absolutely critical for these tribes to build their capacity and develop programs to protect public health and the environment on their lands.”

There are 566 federally recognized tribes in the nation, including 229 in Alaska, 4 in Idaho, 9 in Oregon and 29 in Washington. In Region 10, 202 Tribes and 20 Tribal Consortia received GAP grants for the upcoming fiscal year.

The GAP program was created by Congress in 1992 to provide grants for federally recognized tribes to plan, develop and establish core environmental protection programs.

For more information please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/tribal.NSF