REMINDER: Comments Due 3-21-23: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Programs for Tribes

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NaepcA1
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REMINDER: Comments Due 3-21-23: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Programs for Tribes

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From: Sockabasin, Nancy <Sockabasin.Nancy@epa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:10 AM
Subject: REMINDER: Comments Due 3-21-23: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Programs for Tribes

REMINDER

March 21, 2023 is the last day to submit comments for proposed funding methodology to prioritize projects that address emerging contaminants in drinking water and lead service line replacements under three new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) programs.

The attached presentation provides the most recent funding methodology, which has been updated based on feedback received from Tribes thus far. Additional information is available on the TCOTS website.

Please submit final written comments directly to me (sockabasin.nancy@epa.gov) by Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Nancy Sockabasin (Passamaquoddy)
Tribal Drinking Water Section
U.S. EPA Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street (WTR-4-3)
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-972-3772 (phone)
https://www.epa.gov/tribal-pacific-sw/e ... de-program
pronouns: she/her

From: Sockabasin, Nancy
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 12:38 PM
Subject: Consultation Opportunity: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Programs for Tribes



December 21, 2022

Via e-mail only

Dear Honorable Tribal Leader:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would like to offer your Tribe the opportunity to consult regarding proposed funding methodology to prioritize future projects to address emerging contaminants in drinking water and lead service line replacements under three new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) programs. Once established, the prioritization methodology will be utilized to award BIL funding through 2026. This consultation opportunity is consistent with EPA’s Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes, which indicates that consultation could be appropriate when EPA actions and decisions may affect tribal interests.

President Biden signed the BIL on November 15, 2021, which includes more than $868 million to address tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs over fiscal years 2022-2026. On May 27, 2022, EPA’s Office of Water issued the implementation memo for Tribal Water Infrastructure Appropriations in the BIL.[1] The memo provides guidelines on how the agency will allocate and administer Drinking Water Tribal Set-Aside (DWTSA) and Clean Water Indian Set-Aside (CWISA) funds appropriated under the BIL.

In FY23, Region 9 expects to award approximately $70 million to support eligible drinking water and wastewater projects in tribal communities. This includes:

• $18 million in DWTSA base and BIL supplements;
• $21 million in CWISA base and BIL supplements;
• $6 million in new BIL funding for the DWTSA Emerging Contaminants Program;
• $6 million in new BIL funding for the Emerging Contaminants in Small and Disadvantaged Communities Program; and
• $19 million in new BIL funding for the DWTSA Lead Service Line Replacement Program.

Additionally, up to $6.5 million in FY22-23 funding will be available nationally to support tribal projects to address emerging contaminants in wastewater.

Region 9 is consulting on proposed funding methodology to prioritize funding for projects that meet the eligibility requirements for the following three new BIL programs: 1) the Drinking Water Tribal Set-Aside (DWTSA) Emerging Contaminants Funding, 2) the Emerging Contaminants (EC) in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (SDC) Grant, and 3) the DWTSA Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding. The attached document describes these new program eligibilities and proposed methodology for future project prioritization.

Finally, the enclosed Consultation and Coordination Plan includes a schedule of completed and upcoming tribal engagement opportunities. If you choose to consult, we will work with your tribal government to develop a consultation plan including a description of the action(s) for consultation, process we would follow, opportunities for your input, and timeline for EPA to provide feedback and complete the consultation.

If you are interested in participating in government-to-government consultation on this action, please respond by February 21, 2023. We will be accepting input until March 21, 2023. Submit input to Nancy Sockabasin at 415-972-3772 or sockabasin.nancy@epa.gov.

EPA will work with you to ensure meaningful tribal consultation by convening virtual consultation meetings and extending additional flexibilities as appropriate. EPA values the government-to-government relationship with you and looks forward to working with you should you decide to consult on this matter. Please contact me at 415-972-3337 or torres.tomas@epa.gov, if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

/s/

Tomás Torres, Director
Water Division

Enclosures:
Consultation and Coordination Plan
Summary of Tribal BIL Water Programs and Considerations for Funding Prioritization

Nancy Sockabasin (Passamaquoddy)
Tribal Drinking Water Team
U.S. EPA Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street (WTR-4)
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-972-3772 (phone)
https://www.epa.gov/tribal-pacific-sw/e ... de-program
pronouns: she/her



________________________________________


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[1] Implementation of the Tribal Water Infrastructure Appropriations in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Memo
Attachments
03_21_23 2023 03 01 Consultation Presentation FINAL.pdf
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