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EPA Announces $110,000 in Environmental Funding to Pamunkey Tribe, The First Federally Recognized Tribe in Virginia

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David Sternberg (

PHILADELPHIA – (October 30, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is providing $110,000 in environmental program funding to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, the first federally recognized tribe in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“This funding will assist the Pamunkey in laying down the foundation of an environmental program and facilitating important community outreach and education,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “With this funding, the tribe is demonstrating strong stewardship for its lands and resources while ensuring protection of the public health of their community.”

EPA funding helps tribes provide critical environmental services. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe will use these funds to help strengthen their programs for establishing an Office of Environmental Protection, sponsoring community events, developing environmental plans and establishing priorities. The Pamunkey will also use these funds to raise tribal awareness about environmental concerns.

Specifically, the tribe will work toward these objectives by:

  • Conducting environmental outreach and education with the tribal community through community meetings and events;
  • Developing and adopting an EPA/Tribal Environmental Plan to ensure the health and safety of people who live, work and visit the Pamunkey Indian Reservation;
  • Implementing an Integrated Waste Management Plan to provide consistency within the Tribal Government and membership regarding proper waste disposal and removal, as well as waste reduction; and,

  • Establishing an Office of Environmental Protection which will serve as a resource to the Tribe, and provide information pertaining to environmental media including fish and wildlife, wetlands, air, water, and soil quality, as well as flora and fauna. 

In January 2016, the U.S, government recognized the Pamunkey as the first federally recognized Indian Tribe in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The community is comprised of more than 350 enrolled members that reside on and off the Pamunkey Indian Reservation, which is in the rural Tidewater region of King William County.

The Pamunkey Tribe was one of the first indigenous communities in North America to encounter English colonists, and thus one of the first Tribes to engage in treaty negotiations with European monarchies.

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