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Water: Underground Injection Control

Grants - UIC

Who receives UIC funding?

  • Primacy States – States that have received primary enforcement authority for the UIC Program.
  • Territories – U.S. Territories that have primary enforcement authority for the UIC Program.
  • EPA Regions that directly implement the UIC Program in a state.
  • EPA Regions that directly implement the UIC Program on Tribal Lands.

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What competitive funding opportunities are available?

Technical Assistance and Support for Improved Protection of Drinking Water Sources (Closed)


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting applications from eligible applicants for technical assistance and support that will enhance communication and coordination between the EPA and states to protect drinking water sources.  The technical assistance and support should develop and expand the capability of state and tribal Underground Injection Control (UIC) programs (Classes I-VI) and state and tribal source water protection programs to protect drinking water sources.  Funds awarded under this announcement may be used by recipients to promote participation in meetings that improve the ability of states and tribes to protect drinking water sources and to support the travel expenses of non-federal personnel to attend appropriate meetings.

The statutory authority for this announcement is Section 1442(c)(3)(c) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  This SDWA section authorizes EPA to make grants for any project or activity designed to develop and expand the capability of programs of states and municipalities to carry out the purposes of the SDWA.

On August 22, 2013 EPA announced the following Request for Applications (RFA):
Technical Assistance and Support for Improved Protection of Drinking Water Sources
Applicants eligible to apply are states, local governments, territories, Indian tribes, possessions of the U.S. (including the District of Columbia), public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories and public or private nonprofit institutions.  Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to:

  • Provide leadership and support to states on emerging/high priority issues
  • Sponsor (or cosponsor) annual meetings for UIC and source water protection programs
  • Support and facilitate state participation in the federal/state UIC National Database; and
  • Disseminate and share information with states, tribes, and other non-federal partners.
This initiative supports EPA’s continuing efforts to protect public health by improving protection of drinking water sources.  The deadline for submitting an application was October 31st, 2013.

Request for Application

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How are grant funds allocated to state and territorial programs?

Each year, grant money is allocated to help UIC Programs enforce the minimum federal UIC requirements. These funds are authorized by Congress under Section 1443 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). These state and tribal assistance grants are distributed by the national UIC Program. The annual amount of the grant varies slightly but is approximately $11 million per year.

The grant allotment formula is based on criteria identified in the SDWA. The formula directs available resources toward the highest risk wells in order to achieve the maximum level of public health protection. The formula considers:

  • Well status. The inventory of injection wells in classes I to IV that are active, temporarily abandoned, or under construction are included in the formula. The number of Class V wells is temporarily held constant in the formula because of the difficulties in verifying the inventory.
  • Well type. The grant formula targets classes of wells that have the greatest potential to contaminate an Underground Source of Drinking Water (USDW) and threaten public health — in particular, Class IV wells (inject hazardous wastes directly into or above USDWs) and Class I wells (inject hazardous, industrial, and municipal wastes below USDWs).
  • State population. The number of people to be protected from the risks posed by injection activities has an effect on the grant allocation.
  • State size. This variable influences resources needed to maximize field activities such as inspections of permitted facilities to ensure compliance with safe operating requirements or to locate and address endangering injection wells.

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How are grant funds allocated to tribal programs?

To date, no tribe has received UIC Program primacy, so these programs are directly implemented by EPA Regions. Grant money is provided annually to EPA Regions to support UIC Program efforts to protect drinking water sources on tribal lands. UIC programs on tribal lands are funded in two ways:

  • Five percent of the overall UIC grant is set aside for tribes, and
  • Additional grant money is reserved for Regional UIC Program use on tribal lands. The Headquarters Reserve money supports Class V activities including inventory collection, inspection, compliance assistance and enforcement.

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