WEEKLY UPDATES2019-12-18T20:59:43+00:00

TOP STORIES/HEADLINES: Week of March 30 – April 3, 2020

TOP STORIES

NTAA Releases Tribal Template Letter for Commenting on EPA’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) for Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science

The NTAA has released this Tribal Template Comment Letter, to help your Tribe in developing a response to EPA. Comments are due by April 17, 2020. The NTAA is also holding an informational webinar for Tribes to better understand this proposal and ask questions on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 2pm ET. Register, view documents, and hear the audio for the informational webinar here. Visit NTAA’s website for the complete PRK!

 

Tribal Consultation Announced on $8B Coronavirus Relief Fund for Tribes

The U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. The Department of Treasury announced today through a Dear Tribal Leader Letter from the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs that they will be holding at least two Tribal Leader Consultations to determine how to distribute $8 billion in funds set aside for tribal governments and tribal entities in the Coronavirus Relief Fund within The CARES Act. In addition to attending these Consultations, Tribal Leaders are encouraged to provide their input in writing no later than April 13 by emailing consultation@bia.gov and tribal.consult@treasury.gov.

Explore the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s newly designed and updated online Air Sensor Toolbox. The toolbox offers easier navigation and more information on what EPA is doing to advance and support the development of air sensors for measuring local air quality.

  • Learn about air sensor performance, evaluation and use
  • Understand your air sensor readings
  • Explore EPA’s air sensor research projects and activities
  • Find resources for your air sensor project

Sign up for alerts about newly released publications, events and other air sensor announcements.

 

HEADLINES

Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

Time – Federal Government Revoking Reservation Status for Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s 300 Acres

 

EPA – EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Mother Jones – “An Open License to Pollute”: The EPA Has Halted Enforcement Due to COVID-19

 

NY Times – Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks

 

NY Times – Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Find Opposition Within: Staff Scientists

 

Los Angeles Times – No running water. No electricity. On Navajo Nation, coronavirus creates worry and confusion as cases surge

 

Indian Country Today – Youth and Elders test positive for COVID-19 amid calls for donations

 

E&E News – Lax pollution enforcement can stress hospitals during virus

 

Al Jazeera – Indigenous race into Ecuador’s Amazon to escape coronavirus

 

Huffpost – States Quietly Pass Laws Criminalizing Fossil Fuel Protests amid Coronavirus Chaos

 

EPA – EPA Continues Efforts to Help Increase the Availability of Disinfectant Products for Use against the Novel Coronavirus

 

ENN – The Shutdown Is Clearing New York’s Air. Don’t Cheer Too Hard.

 

NPR – Plastic Wars: Industry Spent Millions Selling Recycling – To Sell More Plastic

 

National Association of Clean Air Agencies – Washington Update

 

Climate Change/Energy

Energy.gov – Department of Energy announces Up To $15 Million for Tribes to Deploy Energy Technology

 

AP – Earth Day video challenge encourages doing 1 good thing

 

The Hill – Court Oks Trump repeal of Obama public lands fracking rule

 

Vox – The missing puzzle piece for getting to 100% clean power

 

Bloomberg – Professor Sees Climate Mayhem Lurking Behind Covid-19 Outbreak

 

BBC – Will Covid-19 have a lasting impact on the environment?

 

Yes! – Lessons from the Coronavirus Can Help Us Overcome the Climate Crisis

 

Gizmodo – This Is What Climate Change Looks Like in an Era of Covid-19

 

Fortune – The oil sector is quickly running out of storage for its unprecedented surplus

 

NPR – Climate Change Push Fuels Split On Coronavirus Stimulus

 

Ensia – Opinion: Put Clean Energy at the Heart of Stimulus Plans to Counter the Coronavirus Crisis

 

NPR – Pandemic Delays Return of Arctic Researchers

 

E&E News – ‘We have never done this before.’ Inside N.Y.’s grid lockdown

 

NY Times – Australia’s Record Heat Means another Blow to Great Barrier Reef

 

CarbonBrief – Fossil fuel use not closely linked to longer life expectancy, study suggests

 

Utility Dive – How COVID-19 is impacting 5 state energy legislation efforts

 

ENN – Global Supply Chains as a Way to Curb Carbon Emissions

 

ENN – What Can We Learn From Covid-19 to Help With Climate Change?

 

Toxics/Mobile Sources

NPR – Trump Administration Weakens Auto Emissions Standards

 

NY Times – U.S. to Announce Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules, a Key Effort to Fight Climate Change

 

E&E News – Leaked draft: Trump emissions plan fails agency price test

 

E&E News – EPA eases gasoline blending requirements

 

NPR/ProPubilca – Plastic Wars: Industry Spent Millions Selling Recycling — To Sell More Plastic

 

NY Times – In Coronavirus, Industry Sees Chance to Undo Plastic Bag Bans

 

NPR – Builder of Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Says It’s Moving Forward

 

NPR – Judge Orders Environmental Review of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

 

Indianz – Tribes score victory in long-running battle against Dakota Access Pipeline

 

Indoor Air Quality

Electrek – Pollution may make the coronavirus even worse – here’s how to protect yourself

 

Be sure to subscribe to EPA’s IAQ Bulletins

TOP STORIES & HEADLINES|

UPCOMING CALLS/EVENTS/NOTICES: Week of March 30 – April 3, 2020

UPCOMING CALLS/EVENTS/NOTICES

Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

NEW! Student Speaker Series: Valerie Segrest – Traditional Foods Support Community Resilience

April 3, 2020 at 12:00PM (PDT)

Register here!

Hosted by NWIC – Nez Perce Site, with sponsors Rising Voices, NOAA Coastal Management, and LiKEN Knowledge!

 

NEW! Join NTAA’s Informational Webinar on EPA’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) for Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science

The NTAA has released this Fact Sheet, to help your Tribe in developing a response to EPA. Comments are due by April 17, 2020. The NTAA is also holding an informational webinar for Tribes to better understand this proposal and ask questions on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 2pm ET. Register, view documents, and hear the audio for the informational webinar here. Stay tuned to the NTAA’s website for the complete PRK!

 

Call for Nominations: TAMS Steering Committee

The TAMS Center is announcing a call for nominations for one (1) position on the TAMS Steering Committee. The positon will serve from October 2020 to September 2023. Further information and the nomination forms are online and can be accessed at: TAMS Steering Committee Nomination Form. The deadline to submit a nomination is April 14, 2020. We sincerely appreciate your time to consider submitting a nomination. For further information, please contact either Farshid Farsi, TAMS-EPA Codirector (Farsi.Farshid@epa.gov or 702-784-8263), or Christopher Lee, TAMS-ITEP Codirector (Christoper.Lee@nau.edu or 702-784-8278).

 

Save the Date & Call for Papers: National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 10-13, 2020. Abstracts due April 17, 2020.

EPA in conjunction with the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) are pleased to announce the 2020 National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference. Interested in presenting a paper or a poster at the Conference? Great! We want to hear from you. We are interested in receiving proposals related to the following technical topics: PAMS, PM2.5 and Chemical Speciation, Near Road, Air Toxics, Tribal Monitoring, Field Operations, Sensors, Quality Assurance, Data Analysis & Data Visualization, Special Studies and Emerging Issues. This year we are also considering some time on the agenda for “Lightening Talks”.  These would be 5-10 minute maximum time slots for quick presentations on issues/topics related to ambient air monitoring and data analysis. In addition, if you’re planning to present a poster, please indicate if you would be interested in giving a 1-minute lightening talk about your poster. Abstracts are required for technical presentations, technical lightening talks, and posters. Please send your one-page abstract along with a bio to Laurie Trinca (trinca.laurie@epa.gov) no later than April 17, 2020. Registration is expected open in April 2020. Additional details will be available on EPA’s website in the coming months.

 

EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: Citizen Science at EPA

April 15, 2020, 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET

To join this webinar, please register here.

With the advent of new technologies for environmental monitoring and tools for sharing information, community volunteers are more engaged than ever before in collecting environmental data, and many environmental agencies are using these data. A major challenge is ensuring the quality of the data collected by citizen science organizations. One of the keys to breaking down this barrier is a Quality Assurance Project Plan. EPA’s Handbook for Citizen Science Quality Assurance and Documentation is for organizations that are starting or growing a citizen science project, and where transparency in the scientific methods for collecting the data are central to the outcome of the project. This webinar will provide an overview of citizen science at the Agency and showcase several EPA citizen science activities that involve partnerships with state, tribal and local governments on a diversity of issues, including 1) monitoring for cyanobacteria in waterbodies, 2) building and operating “real-time,” low-cost water quality sensors in Georgia; 3) demonstration of a new test method for community mapping of radon in Puerto Rico; 4) the Los Angeles Public Library air sensor loan program; and 5) using citizen science to analyze underwater video in the Great Lakes. For more information, visit EPA’s Citizen Science webpage. For registration questions, please email: tools_resources_webinar@epa.gov.

 

NEW! Draft Guidance: Interpretation of “Begin Action Construction” Under the NSR Preconstruction Permitting Regulations

Comments due: May 11, 2020

EPA is providing an opportunity for interested stakeholders to review and comment on the draft guidance titled, Interpretation of “Begin Actual Construction” Under the New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Regulations. This guidance addresses EPA’s interpretation of “begin actual construction” under the regulations implementing the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program. In this draft guidance, EPA is adopting a revised interpretation that is more consistent with the regulatory text. Under this revised interpretation, a source owner or operator may, prior to obtaining an NSR permit, undertake physical on-site activities – including activities that may be costly, that may significantly alter the site, and/or are permanent in nature – provided that those activities do not constitute physical construction on an emissions unit. EPA will accept comment on this draft guidance through Monday, May 11, 2020. The draft guidance, and a link for submitting comments, is available at: https://www.epa.gov/nsr.

 

E-Enterprise National Meeting: Envisioning the Future of Environmental Protection

EE2020 is the latest in a long-running series of meetings sponsored by E-Enterprise for the Environment and the National Environmental Information Exchange Network. On May 12-14, 2020, EE2020 will bring together a broad community of attendees from state, tribal, and local environmental agencies, U.S. EPA, vendors, and other stakeholders with an interest in improving the productivity and responsiveness of the environmental protection enterprise. The meeting integrates content on information technology, program modernization, and process improvement. Click here to learn more about EE2020, the benefits of attending, and ways to get involved.

 

NEW! On March 30, 2020 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to amend the 2015 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing. On September 6, 2016, PCS Phosphates (now Nutrien) petitioned EPA to review the 2015 NESHAP based on newly available data. Following analysis of the petitioner’s data, EPA is proposing to revise the mercury standard for calciners in the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing NESHAP. The proposed amendment will revise the mercury MACT floor for existing calciners from 0.14 milligrams (mg) per dry standard cubic meter (dscm) at 3 percent oxygen to 0.23 mg/dscm at 3 percent oxygen. The proposed amendment fulfills EPA’s statutory requirements under the Clean Air Act, while maintaining the intent of the emission and operational standards of the 2015 NESHAP. EPA will accept comment on the proposed amendment for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.

A prepublication version of the proposed amendment and a summary fact sheet are available here.

 

NEW! EPA’s EnviroAtlas Training Webinar:

Helping Users Capture Nature’s Benefits, Map a Sustainable Future

April 28, 2020 at 2:00 to 3:30 PM ET

As follow-up to the January EPA Tools & Resources Webinar on EnviroAtlas, EPA’s Office of Research and Development will provide a more in-depth training webinar on EnviroAtlas. Register and join the webinar. If you do not have an EPA ID, please register as a guest.

How do environmental managers and public health officials identify the benefits that local forests, parks, wetlands and other natural areas provide to their local communities? One way is through EnviroAtlas. EPA’s EnviroAtlas provides users with a host of interactive tools, geospatial data and resources for exploring the benefits people derive from nature and potential stressors that might impede their provision.

 

Save the Date: Tribal Lands and Environment Forum on August 17-20, 2020

This year’s Tribal Lands and Environment Forum: A National Conversation on Waste and Response Strategies, will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 17-20, 2020. Registration, session proposal forms, travel information, and field trip announcements will all be coming soon. Stay tuned! www.nau.edu/TLEF

 

Tribal Grants Education and Technical Assistance Webinar Series Second Wednesday of Every Month at 1pm ET

For more information, click here!

 

NTAA Upcoming Calls. The toll-free number is 1-800-309-2350. If you do not need to call toll free, or would like to help conserve NTAA funding, you can call 1-805-309-2350. Both numbers use code 928-523-0526#. Contact Andy.Bessler@nau.edu if you have any questions about any call! *Registration instructions* When you register for the GoToWebinar, please remember to include your Tribe, Region, or Organization in parenthesis after your last name. This allows you to see everyone on the call and prevents us from conducting a roll-call, ultimately saving everyone’s time.

 

Mobile Sources Work Group: This monthly work group addresses all mobile source pollution issues. Thursday, April 2, 2pm ET

 

STAR Planning Call: The NTAA Status of Tribal Air Report (STAR) helps tell the story of Tribal Air Programs, why additional funding for Tribes is critical to advance air quality, and is a great resource for Tribes. Wednesday, April 8, 2 pm ET
Indoor Air Quality Work Group: Join this work group every other month to help support IAQ work throughout Indian Country. Thursday, April 16, 2pm ET
EPA Policy Call: Call in to hear updates from EPA on policies, actions, and tools relevant to Indian Country and Air Quality. Thursday, April 30, 2pm ET
Wood Smoke Work Group: Join this work group every other month to address wood smoke issues in Indian Country. Thursday, May 21, 2pm ET

 

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professional’s (ITEP’sTribes and Climate Change Calendar includes conferences, trainings, webinars and other events related to tribes and climate change.

Click here for ITEP’s other trainings and events.

Click here for ITEP’s new Tribal Environmental Management and Planning Online Courses. New courses have been added, so check it out!

 

 ITEP’s FY20 AIAQTP Course Schedule 

 

Course Title Dates Location Course Level
  2020    
Air Pollution Technology June 23-26 Flagstaff, AZ 2
Meteorological Monitoring (Postponed!) Fall 2020 TAMS Center, Las Vegas, NV 3
Air Pollution Modeling Fall 2020 TAMS Center, Las Vegas, NV 3
Air Quality Outreach TBD TBD 1
National Tribal Forum on Air Quality (NTFAQ) (Postponed!) May 2021 Tulsa, OK n/a
 
Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke Anytime Series of 6 recorded webinars n/a
Indoor Air Quality – Independent Study Anytime Independent Study 1
Building Performance: Improving IAQ in Cold Climates Open Online 1
Building Performance: Improving IAQ in Warm Climates In development Online 1
Residential Building Science Review Open Online 1
Radon Fundamentals Open Online 1
Quality Assurance Fundamentals (QA 101) Open Online 1
Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) (QA 201-209) Open Online 2
Emissions Inventory Fundamentals Open Online 2
Emissions Inventory Advanced Open Online 3
Note: This schedule is subject to change.  For up-to-date information, course descriptions, and applications please visit http://www7.nau.edu/itep/main/Training/training_air/

 

Climate Change / Energy

Deadline Extended! Call for Proposals: National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference August 31-September 3, 2020, St. Paul, Minnesota

Proposals now due: May 1, 2020

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) is honored to host the United States’ first Biennial National Tribal and Indigenous Climate Conference (NTICC) along with support from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Resilience Program. The NTICC is open to all US tribal nations and Indigenous Peoples from throughout the world, with an emphasis on including our Elders and

Youth. The NTICC will convene experts on climate change and will include a balance of Traditional Indigenous Knowledges and Western Science. We invite people to submit proposals discussing climate-related impacts, assessments, tools, adaptation planning, mitigation and actions in one or more of the following tracks:

 

  • Indigenous Knowledges
  • Air, Health & Well-Being
  • Land
  • Water
  • Relocation
  • Infrastructure
  • Energy Systems
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity

 

 

 

The U.S. EPA has posted 10 upcoming webinars on climate and energy topics offered by federal agencies and others.

All webinars are offered free of charge, but space may be limited or require registration in advance. Let EPA know if you have upcoming webinars you would like us to include in future newsletters. Visit EPA’s website for other energy resources for state, local, and tribal governments. Archived webinars can be found here.

 

CC 202 Online Course: Tribal Hazard Mitigation Planning, application deadline extended to May 1

October 2020-September 2021

Course Goal: To support Tribe’s hazard mitigation planning through peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchanges in a facilitated cohort focused on the process of developing or updating a Tribal Hazard Mitigation Plan, which looks “at natural hazards that may affect tribal governments and suggests actions to reduce losses from those hazards” (FEMA Tribal Mitigation Planning Resources). The course will be based around FEMA’s hazard mitigation plan requirements and will connect participants to resources, tools, information, and additional specialized expertise on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, various natural hazards, climate change in the context of natural hazards, FEMA’s four-phases of emergency management (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery), cultural considerations, Tribal/Indigenous Knowledges, community outreach and engagement, hazard identification and risk assessment, asset inventorying, and developing and implementing an action plan. Follow this link to find out more information and to register. Contact Karen.Cozzetto@nau.edu with questions.

 

South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center: Earth to Sky Workshop

Earth to Sky is a partnership between NASA, NPS, and USFWS that enables and encourages informal educators to access and use relevant NASA science, data, and educational and outreach products in their work. The partnership’s focus is on climate change science and communication. Join us for three days of training with native informal educators from across the South Central region who recognize the importance of teaching climate change. The workshop will take place July 15-17 in Sulphur, OK. Learn more here.

 

Save the Date: Southwest Tribal Climate Resilience Camp

Date: July 26-31, 2020

Location: Navajo Technical University – Crownpoint, NM

The Tribal Climate Resilience Camp will support teams of Tribal Leaders, climate change coordinators, planners, and program managers to build skills, gather information, and develop Tribal policies and plans needed for Tribal Nations to address climate change impacts. Information about travel, lodging, and registration will be available soon. You may contact Althea Walker, Tribal Climate                                                   Science Liaison, at AWalker@aihec.org or (480) 258-3963 with questions.

SEEKING TRIBAL DELEGATES

We are currently recruiting 10 Southwest Tribes to participate in the 2020 Camp. Each Tribe should identify three delegates per Tribe. The delegates must participate for the entire week curriculum. Delegates may include climate change staff, tribal policy leaders, Tribal Council, natural resource and environmental managers and staff, administrators, department staff from health, public works, education, housing, and other relevant departments that should engage in climate change planning. FOR APPLICATIONS Visit this link.

 

NEW! Save the Date: Shifting Seasons Summit 3, October 6-8, 2020, Keshena, WI

Contingency dates: March 2021

The Shifting Seasons Summit is a gathering that focuses on climate resilience planning and implementation within Tribes and across Tribal ceded territories in the Northeast Region. This summit will also include network-building opportunities and initiatives developed outside of the Northeast by capacity building organizations, academic institutions and Tribes. Visit www.NICRN.org for more details.

 

ITEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Training Courses registration is online! Learn more about the courses and register here.

 

Toxics/Mobile Sources

Postponed: Green Transportation Summit & Expo and the West Coast Collaborative Partners Meeting has been postponed until August 24-26, 2020

After careful consideration of the growing public health concerns associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Green Transportation Summit & Expo and the US EPA West Coast Collaborative is postponing our GTSE | WCCPM event until

August 24 – 26, 2020, at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center in Tacoma, WA.

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) and the Green Transportation Summit & Expo (GTSE) have partnered to provide 25 complimentary full-conference passes to the Green Transportation Summit & Expo. The GTSE is the Pacific Northwest’s premier clean fleet and transportation event, focusing on fleets, fuels, technologies, policy & practice, with a regional focus and a national scope. We will provide you the opportunity to see, touch, drive, and learn about new transportation technologies firsthand, such as electric, hydrogen, natural gas and propane-powered heavy-duty vehicles, off-road utility vehicles, generators, and others. Workshops on DERA, VW funding, other federal funding opportunities, and alternative fuels will be presented. Please join us at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center for the 10th annual GTSE to learn about clean transportation, how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollutants, and costs in your fleet operations. To learn more about the conference, check out our website. To receive the code for the complimentary passes, please contact ITEP’s Dara Marks Marino at Dara.Marks-Marino@nau.edu.

 

Heavy Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 12:00pm EDT

An uncertain regulatory climate. The potential for automated vehicle operation. All these trends are affecting the way engine developers are approaching near-term engine design and development cycles. What are the most significant – and potentially most disruptive – factors that will influence engine developers in the next three to five years? This 60-minute Technical Webinar from the editors of SAE International examines emergent engine design and technology trends that are likely to advance as smart choices in a transitioning environment of on- and off-road heavy-duty engines. An audience Q&A will follow the technical presentation. Register here!

 

EPA MOVES Training

EPA has presented various webinars and training courses to assist users with Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) software and inputs, and makes presentation slides available here for future reference. Subscribe to the MOVES Listserv to receive notification of upcoming webinars and courses. We have an upcoming hands-on two day MOVES training session scheduled for May 5-6 in Research Triangle Park, NC. This is part of EPA’s Air Emissions Inventory Training conference, which is free and intended for state, local, and tribal air agency members and their contractors who develop inventories and/or prepare State Implementation Plans.  For more information, see this webpage. We also make all of our training materials available for self-study on our website.

 

Indoor Air Quality

Welcome Secody Hubbard as the IED’s new Tribal Coordinator!

Secody, a member of the Navajo Nation from Ganado, Arizona, has been with EPA for 14 years. He has a lot of experience in the agency, having worked at Region 7 in the Office of Policy and Management; Region 6 as the Texas Tribal Program Coordinator; EPA Headquarters as the National American Indian/Alaska Native Program Manager in the Office of Civil Rights. Most recently, Secody previously worked in Region 9’s Superfund Division on the implementation of the US EPA 5-Year Plan on Addressing Uranium Contamination on the Navajo Nation. Secody’s background includes exceptional knowledge of federal Indian policy, Tribal governments, the US Federal System and intergovernmental relations.  Before joining EPA, he worked with Tribal Governments on the Arizona Colorado Plateau Ecosystem Management Project as a Research Associate for Northern Arizona University, and served as a Special Diabetes Project Consultant to the Navajo Area US Indian Health Service on the Navajo Nation. Secody earned his BS in Health Administration, Master of Public Administration, and a PhD in Public Policy from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona. For now, Secody will be teleworking like most of the rest of the agency. If you would like to reach out, you can contact him at Hubbard.secody@epa.gov.

 

New Radon Testing and Mitigation Standards Webinars  April 14th and 16th

Join members from the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), Conference of Radon Control Program Directors (CRCPD), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for two free webinars on the new radon testing and mitigation standards. The April 14th webinar is primarily designed for CRCPD members and the April 16th webinar is geared towards AARST members; however anyone interested in learning more about the new testing and mitigation standards is welcome to join either webinar. In 2019, EPA issued guidance on the use of voluntary consensus standards (VCS) for state indoor radon grant recipients. The guidance recommends that all State Indoor Radon Grant recipients reference the most current VCS when implementing their radon programs. These standards undergo a rigorous development and a periodic review process to include new science, new technology, and marketplace evolution. EPA is encouraging the use of current codes and standards to help ensure public health protection. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. EPA estimates that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Learn more about radon and how to address it.

  • Radon Testing and Mitigation Standards for CRCPD Members; April 14, 2020. 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Radon Testing and Mitigation Standards for AARST Members and NRPP-Certified Professionals; April 16, 2020. 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST; Register.

 

Be sure to subscribe to CodeTalk, HUD’s Office of Native American Programs newsletter, for webinars and opportunities!

CALLS/WEBINARS/EVENTS|

RESOURCES AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: Week of March 30 – April 3, 2020

RESOURCES & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Now Hiring!

Check back here next week for current job openings!

 

Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

EPA OMS National Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program – $8 million 

Application extended to: April 10, 2020

An amended version of the FY2020 Exchange Network Solicitation Notice is available on our website.

Eligible Entities: territories, tribes, and inter-tribal consortia, states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribes

The EPA Exchange Network Grant Program is soliciting project applications using the Environmental Information Exchange Network (EN) to:

  • Facilitate sharing of environmental data, especially through shared and reusable services.
  • Streamline data collection and exchanges to improve its timeliness for decision making.
  • Increase the quality and access to environmental data through discovery, publishing, outbound and analytical services so it is more useful to environmental managers.
  • Develop foundational EN shared services to reduce burden and avoid costs for co-regulators and the regulated community.
  • Expand and improve participation in the EN by strengthening the requisite information management and technology capabilities for interested parties to fully participate in the EN.

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description.

 

EPA OAR Community-Scale Air Toxics Ambient Monitoring – $5 million

Applications Due: May 1, 2020

Eligible Entities: A state, interstate, local, or tribal air pollution control agency

EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) is soliciting applications from eligible entities for projects designed to assist state, local, and tribal air agencies in identifying and characterizing air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), through work that falls into one of four categories. Those categories are:

  1. characterizing the impacts of air toxics in a community (community-scale monitoring);
  2. assessing impacts of toxics emissions from specific sources (near-source monitoring);
  3. evaluating new and emerging testing methods for air toxics; and,
  4. analyzing existing air toxics data and developing or enhancing analytical, modeling, and/or implementation tools.

Air toxins of particular interest to EPA in this solicitation include ethylene oxide, chloroprene, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and metals such as hexavalent chromium, nickel, and arsenic. For more information, visit the funding opportunity description.

 

DOI BOR Native American Affairs: Technical Assistance to Tribes for FY20 and FY21 – $1 million

Applications Due: October 28, 2020 for FY21

Eligible Entities: federally recognized tribes or tribal organizations of the 17 Western States identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902

The objective of this opportunity is to invite federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations to submit proposals for financial assistance for projects and activities that develop, manage, and protect tribal water and related resources. Through this opportunity, Reclamation provides funding for projects that increase water reliability consistent with sections 3 and 4 of the October 19, 2018, Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West. For more information, visit the funding opportunity description.

 

To view and/or receive ITEP’s American Indian Air Quality Training Program newsletter, Native Voices, click here!

 

Climate Change/Energy

USDA RUS Assistance to High Energy Cost Communities – $10 million

Applications Due: April 27, 2020

Eligible Entities: Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribal governments), City or township governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Special district governments, County governments, State governments 

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the availability of up to $10 million in competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, or improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities where the average annual residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275% of the national average. Eligible projects also include on-grid and off-grid renewable energy projects and the implementation of energy efficiency and energy conservation projects for eligible communities. Projects cannot be for the primary benefit of a single household or business. Grant funds may not be used for the preparation of the grant application, operating costs, or for the purchase of any equipment, structures, or real estate not directly associated with the provision of community energy services. For more information, visit the funding opportunity description.

 

NEW! DOE Announces Up To $15 Million for Tribes to Deploy Energy Technology

Deadline to Apply: July 1, 2020

Informational webinar: April 7, 2020, 3pm ET

DOE is soliciting applications to install energy technology on tribal lands. Specifically, the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs is soliciting applications to:

  • Install energy generating systems and energy efficiency measures for tribal buildings;
  • Deploy community-scale energy generating systems or energy storage on tribal lands;
  • Install integrated energy systems for autonomous operation (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid) to power a single facility or multiple essential tribal facilities during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience; or
  • Deploy energy infrastructure or integrated energy systems to electrify tribal buildings.

Applications may also be submitted on behalf of an Indian Tribe(s) by an authorized Tribal Organization, provided evidence of that authority is included as part of the application. See the FOA for all eligibility requirements. Applications are due July 1, 2020. An informational webinar will be held April 7, 2020, at 3:00 PM Eastern Time, to provide potential applicants with information on the FOA. Register for the webinar.

 

Join NCAI’s Climate Action email listserv here!

 

Sign up for the Alliance for Green Heat’s newsletter!

 

To view and/or receive ITEP’s Climate Change newsletter, click here!

 

Toxics/Mobile Sources

EPA Announces Community-Scale Air Toxics Monitoring Grant Competition

Deadline Extended to: May 1, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for funding for air toxics monitoring projects under the Community-Scale Air Toxics Ambient Monitoring grants competition. As part of the Agency’s mission to protect human and environmental health, EPA periodically awards these grants to help state, local and tribal air agencies conduct air quality monitoring projects to address localized air toxics issues. EPA anticipates awarding up to $5 million from this competition to fund projects that fall into four categories:

  • Characterizing the impacts of air toxics in a community (community-scale monitoring);
  • Assessing the impacts of air toxics emissions from specific sources (near-source monitoring);
  • Evaluating new and emerging testing methods for air toxics; and
  • Analyzing existing air toxics data and developing or enhancing analytical, modeling, and/or implementation tools.

Air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are linked to cancer or other serious health effects. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA regulates 187 listed air toxic pollutants. While grant applications may address any air toxic pollutant, air toxics of particular interest to EPA in this competition include ethylene oxide, chloroprene, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and metals such as hexavalent chromium, nickel and arsenic.

To receive the grants, applicants must be air pollution control agencies as defined by Section 302(b) of the Clean Air Act that also are eligible to receive grants under Section 105 of the Clean Air Act. Funding for the grants comes from State and Tribal Assistance (STAG) funding. Congress appropriates STAG funds for state, local and tribal air agencies to use in implementing and maintaining environmental programs.

Agencies applying for the air toxics monitoring grants may partner with or provide “subgrants” to other organizations for their monitoring projects. The Agency expects to award grants for 10 to 20 projects, depending on funding availability and the quality of applications received. The amount for each grant may vary; however, no grant may be for more than $750,000. Click here for additional information, and to download the Request for Application.  

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The Tribal Healthy Homes Network (THHN) has a webpage dedicated to Funding Opportunities! Additionally, THHN has developed a Funding Guide for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.

 

Most Recent Listing: EPA Rules from the Federal Register can be found here.

PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD: Week of March 23-27, 2020

The Daily Mail – Air pollution declines across the US as multiple states enforce lockdowns to stop coronavirus from spreading – with Los Angeles and New York City experiencing the biggest drops in nitrogen dioxide levels

Seattle, which had one of the earliest outbreaks of the coronavirus, has also seen a dip in its nitrogen dioxide levels

PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD|

NATIONAL TRIBAL AIR ASSOCIATION

Our mission is to advance air quality management policies and programs, consistent with the needs, interests, and unique legal status of American Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives.