DALLAS, TEXAS (October 31, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the Choctaw Nation for two grants totaling nearly $2 million. The Nation received $1.57 million in Brownfields funding to assess and clean up abandoned properties and a $400,000 Climate Pollution Reduction grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Funding for the grants come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic Investing in America agenda.
“The Choctaw Nation is a reliable partner with a strong environmental program that is well prepared to leverage these grants, made possible by the historic amounts of funding available through the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “EPA is proud to continue working with the Nation on restoring abandoned Brownfields properties and finding solutions for the climate crisis.”
“Choctaws understand the importance of being good environmental stewards,” said Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton. “Support from the EPA enables us to continue implementing sustainable practices that benefit both our tribal members and the surrounding communities, making a lasting impact on the well-being of our people and the land we call home.”
The Choctaw Nation will use the Brownfields grant for several projects, including site assessment and cleanup of the Old Talihina Indian Hospital Campus at 13012 SE 22nd Road near Talihina in Latimer County on Choctaw Nation Tribal Trust land. The 57.5-acre site is an abandoned Indian Health Service. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community engagement activities. The grant is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Nation’s Climate Pollution Reduction grant will be used to develop plans and set goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions. Activities include developing capacity in climate reduction pollution strategies, contracting entities to produce a Priority Climate Action Plan and Comprehensive Climate Action Plan, conducting a GHG emissions inventory and identifying interested and/or affected communities through community engagement meetings. Funding for this grant comes from the Inflation Reduction Act.
Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.
EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments to disadvantaged communities. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations into all aspects of its work. Approximately 84 percent of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities.
The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program provides $5 billion in grants to states, local governments, tribes, and territories to develop and implement ambitious plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution. Authorized under Section 60114 of the Inflation Reduction Act, this two-phase program provides $250 million for noncompetitive planning grants, and approximately $4.6 billion for competitive implementation grants.