DALLAS (Aug. 9, 2019) –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $115,000 to the Pueblo of Pojoaque in New Mexico as part of the General Assistance Program (GAP). The Pueblo will use the funds to administer their environmental program and assist in the development of multimedia programs to address environmental issues, including illegal dumping. The Pueblo’s GAP program protects people’s health by safeguarding the environment through awareness and environmental program development.
“In providing this grant, EPA knows that the Pueblo of Pojoaque will continue their important work of carrying out environmental programs for their members and their lands,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Working together with tribal governments and equipping them with the tools they need is critical to supporting tribal communities.”
The grant will provide support for the Pueblo of Pojoaque Environment Department (PPED) to build capacity to administer environmental regulatory programs on tribal lands. PPED will work with EPA on compliance and inspections, reducing exposure to illegal dump sites and increasing understanding of their impacts, and using GIS/GPS technology, among other goals. EPA awarded the Pueblo another GAP grant of $135,000 earlier this fiscal year, bringing the total amount to $250,000.
In 1992, Congress passed the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act, which authorizes EPA to provide GAP grants to federally-recognized tribes and tribal groups for planning, developing and establishing environmental protection programs in Indian country, as well as for developing and implementing solid and hazardous waste programs on tribal lands. GAP grants also support activities such as attending environmentally-related training and conducting community outreach.