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Grants to USA Tribes in Multiple States and Territories to Improve Public Drinking Water

Drinking Water Tribal Set-Aside (DWTSA) Program


Agency
Federal

GrantWatch ID#
163446

Funding Source
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
CFDA Number: 66.468; 66.442
Funding or PIN Number: EPA-CEP-01
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA: ArizonaCaliforniaHawaiiNevada
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/30/23 Receipt Save

Grant Description
Grants to Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam federally recognized tribes to improve public drinking water. Funding is intended to support projects to enhance public water system infrastructure, and to address health hazards caused by inadequate infrastructure. Grants may be awarded directly to tribes or through interagency agreements with the Indian Health Service.

This program provides funding for federally recognized Tribes within EPA Region 9 for public drinking water system infrastructure. The funding will be used to address the most significant public health threats for public water systems. Funds are generally awarded through direct grants to Tribes or interagency agreements with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and for certain projects (e.g., service line inventories) Region 9 can provide EPA-directed in-kind assistance to Tribes.

Eligible infrastructure improvement projects can:

  • Rehabilitate/develop sources (excluding water rights);
  • Install or upgrade treatment facilities;
  • Install or upgrade storage facilities, including finished water reservoirs;
  • Install or replace transmission and distribution pipes;
  • Replace aging infrastructure if replacement is needed to maintain compliance or further the health protection goals of the SDWA;
  • Install new transmission, distribution or service lines to connect existing homes to a public water supply;
  • Water efficiency projects (e.g., installation of meters);
  • Expansion, consolidation, or development of a new public water system (limited circumstances, see below); and
  • Develop preliminary engineering reports (PERs).

EPA will also consider project eligibility for the grant programs found at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-09/r9-dwtsa-fy24-guidelines-application-procedures.pdf#page=6.

Addendum 99-1 to the national guidelines allows funding for the creation of new community water systems to address existing public health problems caused by unsafe drinking water provided by individual wells or surface water sources. The policy also allows the creation of new regional community water systems which consolidate several existing systems that have technical, financial, or managerial difficulties. According to the national guidelines, new systems may be funded only if specific conditions are met. See https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-09/r9-dwtsa-fy24-guidelines-application-procedures.pdf#page=8.

The national guidelines also allow EPA to consider funding unscheduled “emergency” projects after EPA uses its prioritization method to rank projects for a year. Such projects can include those where some type of failure was unanticipated or the result of natural disaster or an emergency and may require immediate attention to protect public health. In these cases, EPA has the authority to fund the emergency project provided it meets the requirements of the Drinking Water Tribal Set Aside Program.



Recipient

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Only federally recognized Indian Tribes within EPA Region 9 may submit proposals that benefit eligible public water systems (PWS). PWS eligibility is limited as follows:
- Only public water systems that are community water systems or non-profit, non-community water systems are eligible to receive funding;
- The water system must serve an Indian Tribe;
- The water system must be in compliance with the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations unless the project which is being funded will ensure compliance;
- The water system must be operated by adequately trained and certified operators; and
- The water system utility must have or be able to develop the technical, financial and managerial capacity to properly maintain the water system.

Information about water system eligibility can be found at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-09/r9-dwtsa-fy24-guidelines-application-procedures.pdf#page=12.

Additional Geographic Information:

Map of eligible Tribal lands in Region 9: https://www.epa.gov/tribal/tribal-lands-epas-region-9


Pre-Application Information
Important Dates
- November 30, 2023: EPA must receive proposals by this date, including the proposal form, Tribal government endorsement, and preliminary engineering reports (PERs) or planning project proposals with supporting documents. Proposals received after November 30, 2023 will not be considered for funding.
- January 2024: EPA will notify each applicant of the draft proposal priority and whether the project is selected to continue with the application process.
- March 2024: Applicants can submit comments on their draft project prioritization. For projects selected to continue with the application process, applicants must submit responses to any EPA comments, and submit any additional documentation or endorsements that EPA requests.
- April-August 2024: EPA notifies applicants of the final ranking and funding decision, along with guidance letters for projects to be funded by grant.
- May-August 2024: Tribe submits grant application, or Indian Health Service submits draft Memorandum of Agreement and signed Project Summary (exact dates will be included in funding decision notification letters).
- September 2024: EPA awards funds for selected projects.

Matching funds are not typically required; however, in cases where commercial entities and/or non-Tribal populations receive water from the public water system, EPA may require the tribe to provide a funding contribution proportional to the water demand of the commercial entity and/or non-Tribal populations. Similarly, for projects whose costs are correlated with water usage, a funding contribution may be required for water systems using over 150 gallons per capita per day, with the contribution proportional to the amount over 150 gallons per capita per day used. Additionally, given the limited funds available under this program and EPA’s goal to maximize the number of projects it can fund, EPA may work with applicants to explore the availability of funding from other federal agencies, Tribal or third-party sources to contribute to the total project cost.

Funds are generally awarded through direct grants to Tribes or interagency agreements with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and for certain projects (e.g., service line inventories) Region 9 can provide EPA-directed in-kind assistance to Tribes.

For related documents, see the bottom of the Full Grant Text RFP.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$14,000,000

Contact Information
E-mail one electronic copy of the proposal and any documentation to: Nancy Sockabasin, sockabasin.nancy@epa.gov.

For general information about this program, please contact:
Nancy Sockabasin
Drinking Water Tribal Set-Aside Program Coordinator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
75 Hawthorne Street (WTR-4)
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 972-3772
sockabasin.nancy@epa.gov

To discuss specific information about your water system, please contact your EPA program manager. See a list of program managers on https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-09/r9-dwtsa-fy24-guidelines-application-procedures.pdf#page=25.

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