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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

Deadline Date:

02/01/19 - Deadline for Consortia


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Grants to Arizona, California, and Nevada Indian tribes and intertribal consortia for the development and implementation of environmental protection and hazardous waste strategies and regulatory programs. 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).

As described in the GAP Guiding Principles (Attachment E: GAP Guiding Principles), this 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 such as ambient air quality, water quality, managing waste (Attachment C: GAP Allowable/Unallowable Solid Waste Chart), and other EPA-administered statutory programs.

Although Indian tribal governments and intertribal consortia are both eligible to receive funds under this program (Attachment G: Eligibility of Tribes and Intertribal Consortia), GAP funds are prioritized first for tribes, second for existing consortia, and lastly for new consortia.

Planning, Developing, and Establishing Tribal Waste Management Capacity

Tribal environmental departments develop waste management program capacity through a range of planning and development activities. Please see Section E.3 of the GAP Guidebook for a nonexclusive list of tribal environmental protection program capacity indicators that EPA will use to evaluate progress under GAP.

EPA’s main tribal solid waste priority is the promotion of sustainable waste management programs through the development and implementation of Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs). Development of IWMPs will be prioritized ahead of any implementation work that is proposed if a tribe does not have a plan in place.

Tribes may use GAP funds for any activity identified in an approved work plan designed to establish an applicable capacity indicator, and tribes may choose which capacities apply to their own situations. The list of capacity indicators is meant to be a non-exclusive list, but tribal environmental programs will need to establish suggested capacities to move into solid waste implementation activities consistent with the Solid Waste Disposal Act.

Once a Tribe has established the appropriate capacities (listed under Section E.3. in GAP Guidebook), GAP funds can be used for the following implementation activities in order of priority: (a) program administration; (b) compliance and enforcement; (c) solid waste management, resource recovery, and resource conservation support; and (d) cleanup and closure.

(a) Tribal Waste Management Program Administration: Program administration generally includes all administrative oversight functions to ensure proper program implantation (e.g. financial management, human resources management, program performance evaluation, scheduling). Examples: Personnel costs for tribal environmental department and administrative staff who oversee/coordinate waste management programs and workers.

(b) Tribal Compliance and Enforcement Programs: GAP may fund implementation activities associated with tribal waste management laws, codes, and/or regulations, such as compliance assurance (including inspections) and enforcement consistent with extent of the tribe’s authority. In addition, GAP may fund tribes to support compliance with federal requirements, including: (1) compliance assurance (including inspections) under Tribal authority at non-hazardous waste disposal facilities to help verify compliance under 40 CFR Part 257 and/or Part 258. Examples: Conducting inspections, providing compliance assistance, to non-hazardous waste disposal facilities and providing results to of such inspections to appropriate EPA personnel. (2) compliance assistance and inspections that help verify that hazardous waste generators are in compliance with 40 CFR Parts 172, 173, 178, and 179. In accordance with a tribally approved IWMP, tribes may also use GAP funds to conduct community outreach and education programs on solid waste, hazardous waste, source reduction, and diversion, and USTs. Examples: Conducting inspections and providing compliance assistance to hazardous waste facilities and providing results of such inspections to appropriate EPA personnel.

(c) Activities to Support Solid Waste Management, Resource Recovery, and Resource Conservation: Consistent with RCRA § 4008, activities funded under GAP may include: facility planning and feasibility studies; expert consultation; surveys and analysis of market needs; marketing recovered resources; technology assessments; legal expenses; construction feasibility studies; source separation projects; and fiscal or economic investigations or studies, but shall not include any other element of construction or any acquisition of land or interest in land, or any subsidy for the price of recovered resources. Activities that are part of a sustainable waste management program designed to increase waste source reduction, recycling, composting, and sustainable materials management are also allowed. Purchase, repair, upgrade, or replacement of resource recovery, resource conservation, and source separation supplies and equipment (e.g. vehicles, scales, containers, crushers, shredders, sheds, fencing, and signage) may be eligible for GAP funding. Similarly, construction, repair, upgrade, and replacement of source separation facilities (e.g. transfer stations (costs associated with determining appropriate size, location, design characteristics, and estimated operating costs for potential solid waste management and/or disposal facilities), recycling centers, and compost facilities, household hazardous waste collection facilities, bulk waste/appliance/electronic waste collection facilities, construction and demolition debris facilities, used oil collection stations, and other similar facilities) may also be funded under GAP. Other examples: expert consultation, surveys and analysis of market needs, marketing of recovered resources, technology assessments, legal expenses, construction feasibility studies, source separation projects (activities that are part of a sustainable waste management program designed to increase waste source reduction, recycling, composting, and sustainable materials management).

(d) Cleanup and Closure Activities: GAP funds can be used to implement solid and hazardous waste programs consistent with the GAP statute, including cleanup activities, however, the focus will remain on supporting tribal government efforts to develop a sustainable program designed to prevent new, or reoccurring, unauthorized dumping on tribal lands. Indian Health Service is the primary agency responsible for identifying, assessing and funding open dump cleanup and closure.

If a tribe does propose cleanup and closure activities in their GAP work plan, it must have either (1) established capacity under the following indicators (as described in the GAP Guidebook) E.3.5, E.3.6, E.3.7, E.3.8, E.3.17, and E.3.18 or (2) be “substantially pursuing tangible elements” of a program. Please look in the GAP Guidebook and consult your Project Officer for more specifics. If a tribe has not developed, or is not “substantially pursuing” the listed capacities, EPA will not prioritize providing financial assistance under GAP for cleanup and closure activities UNLESS the open or unauthorized dump presents an imminent or substantial endangerment to human health or the environment.

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.

Sample GAP Workplan Activities

Administrative Capacity Building: Grantees may receive minimal funding to support administration of a GAP program which includes: planning, evaluation, and reporting. Please review Section A and B of the GAP Guidebook for administrative capacity-building indicators.

Administrative/Fiscal Assessments are required for every new GAP grant. The purpose of these assessments is to review and assess the Tribe’s Policies and Procedures to ensure that the Tribe’s systems meet the requirements of Cost Principles under 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E. Corrections to deficiencies found in the Tribe’s administrative systems may be eligible activities under the GAP. This activity should be completed at least once every four to five years, more frequently if needed, and in year one of every new GAP grant.

Programmatic Capacity Building: Grantees may receive GAP funding based on the scope of the tribal environmental program capacity areas that are actively being developed consistent with EPA-administered programs. Please review Sections C through G of the GAP Guidebook for sample capacity building indicators.

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 allowable, allocable, necessary, and reasonable. ALL equipment purchases require prior approval of the EPA Project Officer. Applicants requesting equipment must address the requirements outlined in Attachment D.

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, 2018 (Public Law No: 115-141) identifies the eligibility of solid waste and recovered materials collection, transportation, backhaul, and disposal services under GAP. Allowable solid waste and recovered resource program implementation, collection, transportation, backhaul and disposal costs under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 will need to be identified with a separate work plan component and budget. One-time work plan commitments such as solid waste cleanups and associated costs should also be described in separate work plan components and budgets.

Pilot Projects: Establishing an environmental protection program may include performing a “test drive” of the program to determine whether the tribe is ready to move into the program implementation phase. “Test drives” of capacity to implement are for evaluating the effectiveness of a program and may be funded for up to four years under GAP. Work plans containing “test drive” activities should contain activities to collect information about program design and effectiveness and describe how this information will be used to identify options for improving the program, including but not limited to: new or revised environmental protection policies and procedures; more stringent standards and/or requirements; and additional capacity development needs (GAP Guidance, page 4 of 22).

Proposal Preparation Costs: As provided at 2 CFR 200.460, directly charging proposal preparation costs is allowable under GAP when a tribal government recipient or intertribal consortium is seeking funding from other EPA programs, other Federal agencies, state or local governments, and private foundations, when these proposal preparation activities are allowable, allocable, necessary, and reasonable for achieving statutory goals under the Indian Environmental General Assistance Act, implementing regulations, and guidance if the tribe can document that those costs are not already included in their indirect cost rate. Proposal preparation costs must not exceed 5% of the total budget, including cost-share and matching funds that are part of the award.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176835

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 and/or solid and hazardous waste program implementation 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 26, 2018
- Grant applications from tribes must be submitted by: January 15, 2019
- Grant applications from intertribal consortia must be submitted by: February 1, 2019

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

Each GAP grantee is required to submit a full GAP application by January 15, 2019. The funding source highly encourages grantees to work with their GAP project officers prior to submitting their full GAP application by sending and negotiating draft work plans and budgets. Applications submitted prior to the stated due date are encouraged.

Please note: If your GAP award is part of a Performance Partnership Grant (PPG), only the full GAP application is due on January 15th. EPA Project Officers will provide guidance for how to submit the remaining work plans and final budget for the entire PPG once all program funding decisions have been made.

EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan Requirement: An approved EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan (ETEP) is required to receive funding for FY2020. If a Tribe has not finalized an ETEP, incremental funding may be awarded for FY2020 work plan activities related to completing the ETEP only.

Note: Please ensure that you have registered, or renewed your registration, for the System for Award Management at An EPA award cannot be made without a current SAM registration.

Performance Partnership Grants:

PPGs allow eligible tribes and intertribal consortia to combine funds from at least two eligible environmental financial assistance programs into a single grant, to improve environmental performance, increase programmatic flexibility, achieve administrative savings (like reduction in cost share), and strengthen the partnerships between the Tribe and EPA. There are 20 EPA grant programs eligible for inclusion in a tribal PPG. Tribes receiving two or more EPA grants may discuss the prospect of forming a PPG with their grant project officers before developing individual grant applications.

GAP applications that are part of a PPG must also be submitted in by January 15, 2019. This must include a list of PPG eligible grant programs the tribe or consortia intends to include in their final FY2020 PPG work plan and budget.

User guides:

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 (see Supporting Documents below), or use the contact form:

Mailing Address
American Indian Environmental Office
Mail Code: 2690M
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Visiting and Overnight Delivery
American Indian Environmental Office
Mail Code: 2690M
Ronald Regan Building (RRB) 3rd Floor
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004

CFDA Number:

GAP: 66.926 / PPGs: 66.605

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arizona;   California;   Nevada