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State and Tribal Response Program Grants

EPA’s State and Tribal Brownfields Response Program funding, referred to as “Section 128(a)” funding after the section of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The EPA Brownfields Program’s goal is “to empower states[1], tribes[2], communities, and other stakeholders in economic development to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.” Section 128(a) State and Tribal Response Program funding can be used to create new or to enhance existing environmental response programs. Authorized at $50 million per year and shared among states, tribes and territories, the funding is awarded on an annual basis. The funding can also be used for limited site assessments or cleanups at brownfield sites; for other activities that increase the number of response actions conducted or overseen by a state or tribal response program; to capitalize revolving loan funds for cleanup; to purchase environmental insurance; or to develop other insurance mechanisms for brownfields cleanup activities.


Section 128(a) cooperative agreements are awarded and administered by the EPA regional offices.

On this page:

State Voluntary Cleanup Programs

State response programs continue to be at the forefront of brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, as both the public and private markets recognize the responsibilities and opportunities of these response programs in ensuring protective and sustainable cleanups. The increasing number of properties entering into voluntary response programs emphasizes the states' a role in brownfields cleanup.

State Voluntary Agreements

State voluntary cleanup programs (VCP) memoranda of agreement (MOA) are agreements between EPA regional authorities and state environmental programs that promote the coordination and define general roles regarding the cleanup of sites. The agreement can further provide the public with the confidence that EPA and the state agency are working in a coordinated manner. Over time, the use of the MOA as a mechanism to strength EPA and state coordination at contaminated sites evolved.

Some MOAs and RCRA memoranda of understanding (MOUs) have included, among other things, a means to recognize the contribution VCPs or other State programs can make in addressing the cleanup and treatment storage and disposal (TSD) facilities and underground storage tanks regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and PCB contaminated sites subject to remediation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In 2002, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was amended by the Brownfields Amendments that provides states and tribes that enter into MOAs with EPA are eligible for response program grants authorized by CERCLA § 128(a)(1). To learn more about which states have MOAs or MOUs, please go to the regional pages or Brownfields Near You.

Tribal Brownfields Programs

There are 573 federally recognized tribes within the United States. Each tribe is an independent, sovereign nation, responsible for setting standards, making environmental policy, and managing environmental programs for its people. While each tribe faces unique challenges, many share similar environmental legacies.

Environmental issues and responses in Indian country range from:

  • developing basic administrative infrastructure to passing new ordinances and laws;
  • controlling illegal open dumping to developing emergency response plans;
  • abating and removing leaking underground storage tanks to addressing methamphetamine response and cleanup; and
  • addressing air pollution to the cleanup and reuse of contaminated land.

Tribes use Section 128(a) Tribal Response Program funding for a variety of activities. Tribal response programs conduct assessments and provide oversight at properties, create codes and ordinances, develop inventories of properties, and educate their communities about the value of protecting and restoring tribal natural resources and community health., To learn more about tribal program across the country, please go to the regional pages or Brownfields Near You.

[1]The term "state" is defined in this document as defined in CERCLA section 101(27).

[2]The term "Indian tribe" is defined in this document as it is defined in CERCLA section 101(36). Intertribal consortia, as defined in the Federal Register Notice at 67 FR 67181, Nov. 4, 2002, are also eligible for funding under CERCLA section 128(a).

Annual Funding Guidance Resources

General Resources