EPA Selects Three Oklahoma Recipients of Pollution Prevention Grants Totaling $821,000
DALLAS, TEXAS (September 9, 2022)- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of three Oklahoma recipients of pollution prevention (P2) grants totaling $821,000—the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. These grants will allow the recipients to provide businesses with the technical assistance needed to develop and adopt P2 practices which will prevent or reduce pollution before it is created, while also reducing business and liability costs.
“These grants continue to fulfill several of President Biden’s top priorities simultaneously,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “We are helping organizations who are focused on assisting vulnerable communities and providing incentives for businesses to turn to a greener alternative. EPA will continue to find ways to assist our states and tribes as they work on providing a cleaner environment for their communities.”
The P2 Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to underserved communities. State and tribal programs awarded grants will not be required to provide matching funds, as is required by traditional P2 grants. The ability to waive the match requirement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in addition to the new National Emphasis Area, or NEA, for businesses in Indian country, helped to broaden and diversify the applicant pool. Many grants selected will support implementing pollution prevention practices in Indian country.
The United States produces billions of pounds of pollution each year and spends billions of dollars per year controlling this pollution. Preventing pollution at the source, also known as P2 or source reduction, rather than managing waste after it is produced is an important part of advancing a sustainable economic and environmental infrastructure. P2 can lessen exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce financial costs for businesses, particularly costs associated with waste management, disposal and cleanup. These practices are essential for protecting health, improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities, and preserving natural resources like wetlands, groundwater sources, and other critical ecosystems.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma will focus on the implementation and continuous use of environmental management by providing underserved communities and tribal businesses with P2 information and/or training on pollution and hazardous waste reduction, conserving energy by learning how to be efficiency-conscious, limiting water waste and saving money by living greener and healthier.
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) is seeking to implement Project Green Clean, which will conduct targeted facility reviews, green chemical alternative reviews, and trainings at various schools and internal CNO facilities. Utilizing the feedback from these reviews, CNO will in turn generate reports on the reduction of environmentally harmful chemicals and practices at these facilities and businesses.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality will identify and target outreach businesses in specific industrial sectors that use organic solvents in areas of Oklahoma deemed to be uniquely vulnerable. The primary goal is to reduce and replace toxic chemicals with greener alternatives to prevent adverse environmental and public health impacts. A rebate program to provide rebates to businesses that upgrade to “greener” processes will be developed.
Selected and awarded grantees will document and share P2 best practices they identify and develop through these grants so that others can replicate the practices and outcomes. Each selected grantee will address at least one of the National Emphasis Areas, which were established to focus resources to achieve measurable results and to create opportunities to share information among P2 grantees and businesses affiliated with similar NEAs. Each selected grantee will also develop at least one case study during the grant period on P2 practices that are new or not widely known or adopted, or where detailed information on the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers.
These grants are the first of five P2 grant programs over the next five years that will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The EPA has announced two other new grant opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. One will encourage products, purchasing, and/or supply chains that are safer, more sustainable, and environmentally preferable and the other will encourage businesses that are working in, or working with, underserved and disadvantaged communities to adopt P2 practices. The EPA also anticipates awarding traditional P2 grants administered by the agency for over 25 years later this year.
The EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. Grants supported with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will be fully funded at the time grants are awarded.
A full list of the entities in Region 6 selected to receive funding through the grants funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be found below.
Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.