On May 5, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new funding program to assist Alaska Native entities to address and remediate contaminated lands in Alaska.
Entities eligible to receive funding include:
- Alaska Native Regional Corporations,
- Alaska Native Village Corporations,
- Federally recognized Tribes in Alaska,
- Alaska Native nonprofit organizations and associations, and
- Inter-Tribal consortia comprised of Alaskan Tribal entities.
The funding is intended to address environmental contamination on land conveyed pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The land must have been contaminated at the time of conveyance and be listed on the interim EPA inventory of Contaminated ANCSA Lands.
EPA stated that it expects to award:
- Three or more cooperative agreements that recipients may use to characterize sites and conduct detailed site assessments (estimated $600,000 in total); and
- three or more cooperative agreements to enable eligible entities to begin cleanup of ANCSA properties contaminated at the time of conveyance (estimated $3 million in total).
The type of work that can be funded includes:
- Sub-awards to other eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, for cleanups on sites owned by the sub-recipient or sites for which the sub-recipient can demonstrate that it has been granted access by the site owner for the purpose of conducting assessment and cleanup activities.
- Inventorying, characterizing, assessing, and conducting planning and community involvement related to conveyed ANCSA lands that were contaminated prior to conveyance and that are owned by the recipient or for which the recipient can demonstrate that access has been granted by the site owner for the purpose of conducting cleanup activities; and
- cleanup activities at sites conveyed under ANCSA that were contaminated at the time of conveyance and that are owned by the assistance recipient or for which the recipient can demonstrate it has been granted access by the site owner for the purpose of conducting cleanup activities.
Recipients are also permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs, travel costs to and from contaminated sites, environmental liability insurance, and costs associated with program management/oversight of the cooperative agreement, such as the required performance reporting.
No non-federal matching funds are required for these grants.
The EPA also provided the following timeline, with June 23rd as the initial application deadline.
- May 18, 2023: EPA hosting Funding Package Preparation Assistance Webinar
- June 9: Complete Request for Funding Packages due to EPA Program Contact
- June 23, unless an extension request is approved in writing by the EPA Program Contact: Final applications (including final budgets, work plans, and signed federal forms) due to EPA through Grants.gov and copied to the EPA Program Contact
- Starting July 10: Selections announced
- Starting July 28: Fiscal year 2023 awards made to successful applicants
The following are links to the relevant EPA resources for this program:
Alaska Native entities that own or use contaminated ANCSA lands, or believe they might own or use such lands, may want to investigate this grant opportunity, as the federal government begins an effort to address environmental contamination in Alaska.
This article summarizes aspects of the law and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice for your situation, you should contact an attorney.
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