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Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP)

Grants to Arizona, California, and Nevada Tribes
to Administer Environmental Regulatory Programs

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United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 9

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Grants to Arizona, California, and Nevada Indian tribes and intertribal consortia for the development of environmental protection and hazardous waste strategies and regulatory programs. Initial applications are due December 1. Funding is intended to assist tribal governments and consortia in building organizational capacity to administer programs that are consistent with federal regulations.

EPA Region 9 invites Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) grant proposals from federally recognized tribal governments and eligible intertribal consortia for FY2019 work plan program development activities. The goal of the GAP is to assist tribes in developing the capacity to plan and establish environmental protection programs and to develop and implement solid and hazardous waste programs in accordance with their individual needs.

This grant notification includes GAP funding opportunities including:
-General Assistance Program Grants, and
-Performance Partnership Grants which include GAP Funding

The GAP program is exempt from competition under sections 6(c) 1 and 2 of EPA’s Policy for Competition of Assistance Agreements (EPA Order 5700.5A1).

EPA provides (GAP) financial assistance to tribal governments and intertribal consortia to assist tribes in planning, developing, and establishing the capacity to implement federal environmental programs administered by the EPA and to assist in implementation of tribal solid and hazardous waste programs in accordance with applicable provisions of law, including the Solid Waste Disposal Act (commonly known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA).

This financial support promotes tribal government efforts to develop core environmental program capacities (administrative, financial management, information management, environmental baseline needs assessment, public education/communication, legal, and technical/analytical) and baseline capacities for media-specific programs (e.g., ambient air quality, water quality, managing waste, and other EPA administered statutory pollution prevention programs).

GAP Guiding Principles:

EPA will apply the following Guiding Principles in awarding GAP grants to tribes and intertribal consortia:

1. Ensure tribal governments have the opportunity to build the capacity to:
a. Implement federal environmental programs through EPA delegations, authorizations, and primacy designations; and
b. Meaningfully participate and engage in environmental protection activities that inform, support, or enhance direct implementation under federal environmental statutes administered by EPA.

2. Promote tribal self-governance by working closely with tribes to:
a. Accomplish tribal environmental program goals in EPA-Tribal Environmental Plans that reflect federal environmental program areas of need to protect human health and the environment;
b. Support tribes’ development of strong core environmental program capacities for media-specific programs administered by EPA; and
c. Foster tribes’ capacity to assume the authority to implement programs administered by EPA (e.g., Treatment as a State status or through Direct Implementation Tribal Cooperative Agreements).

3. Promote intergovernmental collaboration and cooperative federalism among EPA, tribes, states, and other partners, and focus EPA financial and technical assistance to protect human health and the environment.

4. Support implementation of established solid and hazardous waste regulatory programs in accordance with the purposes and requirements of applicable provisions of law, including the Solid Waste Disposal Act (commonly known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act).

5. Maintain strong national program management practices to produce compelling results that align with EPA’s statutory authorities.

These Guiding Principles underscore GAP’s role in fostering partnerships between EPA and federally-recognized Indian tribes through collaboration and shared accountability. In addition, they clarify how activities funded under GAP will support EPA’s priorities consistent with the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act of 1992, EPA Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations (1984), Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Guidance on the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia (2013), and the FY 2018-2022 EPA Strategic Plan. EPA’s management of GAP will continue to strive to support all federally recognized tribes that are building capacity to implement the full spectrum of environmental regulatory programs administered by the EPA.

Administrative Capacity Building: Grantees may receive minimal funding to support administration of a GAP program which includes: fiscal/administrative assessments, reporting, joint evaluation, and supervision of GAP environmental staff.

Programmatic Capacity Building: Grantees may receive GAP funding based on the scope of the tribal environmental program capacity areas that are actively being developed related to EPA programs.

GAP review criteria will be used to determine priorities for funding supplemental capacity-building projects or equipment purchases. One-time work plan commitments such as equipment purchase requests and their associated costs should be described in separate work plan components and budgets.

Equipment Purchases: Equipment is defined as tangible, non-expendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more (per unit), although a lower dollar amount threshold can be established by the applicant. Federal threshold will be used for approval purposes. Any proposed equipment costs must be eligible, allocable and allowable under GAP. ALL equipment purchases require prior approval of the EPA Project Officer and the EPA Grants Specialist.

Solid and Hazardous Waste Implementation: As described in Section E of the GAP Guidebook, GAP can fund the implementation of solid and hazardous waste programs. In addition, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law No: 114-113) states that funds appropriated for Federal Fiscal Years 2016 through 2020 shall be available to tribes for financial assistance under GAP for, “solid waste and recovered materials collection, transportation, backhaul, and disposal services.” Tribes seeking GAP financial assistance for these unique activities should structure their proposals to identify: (1) where the serviced materials came from (residential, institutional, or commercial sources); and (2) how much material was serviced (weight/volume estimate). Applicants should review the following supplemental GAP guidance before seeking GAP funds for solid waste and recovered materials collection, transportation, backhaul, and disposal services: Allowable Solid Waste and Recovered Resource Program Implementation, Collection, Transportation, Backhaul and Disposal Costs under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.

Allowable solid waste and recovered resource program implementation, collection, transportation, backhaul and disposal costs under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 will need to be identified with a separate work plan component and budget. One-time work plan commitments such as open dump clean-ups and associated costs should also be described in separate work plan components and budgets.

Funding Priorities:

Priority 1: Individual Tribes

The primary purpose of GAP is to build tribal capacity for developing and administering environmental protection programs, and it is EPA policy to work with tribes on a government-to-government basis. Therefore, providing GAP grants to individual tribal governments is the highest priority.

Priority 2: Programs/Projects that Benefit Other Tribes and/or Existing Intertribal Consortia

Activities that Benefit Multiple Tribes: This includes grants to individual tribes for activities that benefit multiple (or all) tribes in the Region. Such activities might include conducting training courses, holding conferences or RTOC meetings, and providing travel funds to other tribes to attend environmental training and meetings. This program places this priority directly under the ranking for individual tribes and equal to that of existing intertribal consortia that perform similar functions.

Existing Intertribal Consortia: Funding for consortia will be considered after the needs of individual tribes are met. Consortia work plans should meet the needs of tribes without duplicating individual tribal efforts. Work plans that directly build tribal environmental capacity will be prioritized for funding.

Priority 3: New Intertribal Consortia

The overall amount of funding available to individual tribes and existing intertribal consortia is reduced each time a new intertribal consortium is funded. Funding new intertribal consortia will be the third priority.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176835

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

In general, first-time GAP applicants will receive $75,000 to support their first year of GAP activities. Amendments to existing grants may be in any amount, although most awards will range from $75,000 to $120,000 per year. Requests for more than $120,000 will be considered if needs are sufficiently justified and funding is available.

Term of Contract:

GAP grant project periods may not exceed four years. At the end of a four-year grant period, tribes and intertribal consortia may apply for a new GAP grant to continue environmental capacity building activities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Recipients:

Indian tribal governments (tribes) and intertribal consortia are eligible to receive funds under this program. These terms are defined in 40 CFR 35.502 as follows:

An Indian tribal government (tribe), except as otherwise defined in statute or applicable program specific regulation, is any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village, which is recognized as eligible by the U.S. Department of the Interior for the special services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

An intertribal consortium is a partnership between two or more tribes authorized by the governing bodies of those tribes to apply for and receive assistance under GAP.

Under EPA’s tribal grant regulations, an intertribal consortium is eligible to receive GAP financial assistance when the consortium can adequately document compliance with the following requirements:

1. A majority of its members are eligible to receive GAP grants;

2. All member tribes that meet GAP eligibility requirements authorize the consortium to apply for and receive the award; and

3. Adequate accounting controls are in place to ensure that only members that meet the eligibility requirements will benefit directly from the award and the consortium agrees to an award condition to that effect.

This means that a consortium may receive a GAP grant even if the consortium includes members that are not federally recognized tribes, so long as the consortium meets the three regulatory requirements specified above. Authorization of the consortia to apply for and receive the GAP award is required from all GAP-eligible member tribes. For purposes of determining intertribal consortia eligibility, a “GAP-eligible tribe” is any tribe that meets the definition of Indian tribal government (tribe) in 40 CFR 35.502.

With each new or supplemental GAP grant application, an intertribal consortium must provide EPA with “adequate documentation” of: (1) the existence of the partnership between eligible tribal governments; and (2) authorization by all GAP-eligible member tribes for the consortium to apply for and receive the new or supplemental GAP grant. This documentation ensures clear communication between consortia and member tribes so that EPA is able to appropriately consider individual tribal needs and priorities when awarding GAP funds to intertribal consortia. As an example, tribal authorization may be provided by a tribal council resolution or other written certification from a duly authorized representative of each GAP-eligible member tribe. Tribal government endorsements/authorizations must indicate consortia work plan commitments compliment but do not duplicate commitments in tribal work plans. Applications that do not contain adequate documentation from all GAP-eligible tribes will be considered incomplete.

In accordance with Guiding Principle #2, EPA will award GAP funds to help tribes accomplish their tribal environmental program development goals as outlined in their EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan (ETEP). To further this principle, intertribal consortia are advised to describe how their grant proposals support the program development goals outlined in the ETEPs developed by their GAP-eligible member tribes.

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates*:
-Funding Announcement emailed to Environmental Directors: October 27, 2017
-Grant proposals from tribes must be submitted in GAP Online: December 1, 2017 *
-Grant proposals from intertribal consortia must be submitted in GAP Online: January 12, 2018
-Guidance Letters with approved funding amounts and work plan comments mailed to applicants beginning on: February 20, 2018
-Full Applications with Revised Work plans are due in on or after: March 27, 2018 ** (or as stated in the Region 9 Guidance Letter)
-Grant Awards will be made not later than: September 30, 2018

* Applicants with Performance Partnership Grants are not required to submit their proposals into GAP Online; these applicants should email their proposal to their Project Officer.

** Funding is jeopardized if materials are received after assigned due dates.

Grant Applications in will be due no earlier than March 27, 2018. A specific due date will be provided in each recipient’s Guidance Letter.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Complete GAP proposals must be submitted in GAP Online at:

For additional information or clarification, please contact your GAP Project Officer, or:

Michelle Baker
(415) 972-3206

GAP Officers Contact List:

Tribal Section, LND-3-1
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, California 94105

F: (415) 972-3778
F: (415) 947-3562

CFDA Number:

GAP: 66.926 / PPGs: 66.605

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arizona;   California;   Nevada