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Water: State, Tribal & Territorial Standards

Funding for Tribal Water Quality Program Development

Several programs offer funding that a Tribe can use to support its water quality standards program.

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Section 106 Water Pollution Control

Final §106 Tribal Grant Guidance (October 20, 2006)

Section 106 of the Clean Water Act provides financial assistance for the prevention, reduction and elimination of water pollution. A grant from Section 106 can be used to fund a variety of projects for the protection of water quality. Tribes have used Section 106 grants to develop water quality standards, conduct stream bioassessment surveys, gather baseline water quality data and develop a water classification system.

Up to three percent of the national Section 106 allocation of funds is set aside for Tribes. Our regional offices approve funding.

Basic requirements include:

  • program authorization under Section 106
  • ability to address pollution emergencies
  • an EPA-approved work plan

If monitoring or assessment will be conducted, additional requirements are:

  • an EPA-approved Quality Management Plan
  • an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan

Workshops and training are available. Contact the Regional Tribal Water Quality Coordinator for further information.

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Clean Lakes Program

The Clean Lakes Program (Section 314) offers matching funds with which Tribes have assessed the status of their lakes including evaluating nutrient enrichment and possible effects from acid deposition and tracking changes in water quality.

Our regional offices approve funding. Requirements include program authorization under Section 314, Tribal match (30 to 50 percent of the amount), an EPA-approved work plan, and an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan. Technical assistance is available upon request. Contact the Regional Tribal Water Quality Coordinator for further information.

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Section 104(b)(3) Funding for Special Projects

Depending on environmental needs and resources, we can fund special nonpoint, NPDES and wetland projects with Section 104(b)(3) grants. Examples of Tribal projects funded by Section 104(b)(3) grants are controlling erosion and loss of riparian habitat by cattle grazing, identifying point source discharges on reservation land, and conducting a wetland inventory using geographic information systems technology. Contact the Regional Tribal Water Quality Coordinator for further information. For more information on these programs, including Tribal examples of how these programs have been used and points of contact

For further information, Water Management Solutions, A Guide for Indian Tribes (PDF) (81 pp, 407K, EPA 908-K-93-001, February 1993)

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Other Programs

Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Grant Program - provides grant funds for the planning, design and construction of tribal wastewater treatment facilities. For more information contact the regional CW ISA Coordinators.

U.S.-Mexico Tribal Border Infrastructure Grant Program - provides grants to tribes within 100 km (approximately 62 miles) of the U.S.-Mexico Border for the construction of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects. For more information contact:

Sara Jacobs
U.S. EPA, Region 9
U.S.-Mexico Tribal Border Infrastructure Program Coordinator
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Telephone: (415) 744-1833

Alaskan Native Village And Rural Communities Sanitation Grant Program - provides grants to Alaska Native Villages and rural Alaskan communities for the construction of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems, improvements in existing systems, and for training and technical assistance in the operations and maintenance of these systems. For more information contact:

Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Facility Construction and Operation
Village Safe Water
410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105
Juneau, AK 99801-1795
Telephone: (907) 465-5137

Model Navajo Nation National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program Initiative - initiative provides a model of a tribal NPDES Program. The goal of the Navajo NPDES Program is to obtain EPA-approved authorization to operate NPDES, pretreatment, and sludge management programs. For more information:

Navajo Nation EPA
Water Quality Program
P.O. Box 339
Window Rock, Arizona 86515
Telephone: (520) 871-7690
Fax: (520) 871-7599

Wetlands Program Development Grants - The Wetlands Program Development Grants provide financial assistance to states, federally- recognized Indian tribes, and local governments to support development of new, or augmentation and enhancement of existing wetland programs. Projects must clearly demonstrate a direct link to an increase in the state's, tribe's, or local government's ability to protect its wetland resources. For more information, contact the Regional Grant Coordinators:

Additional links for information on funding:

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