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Energy | Environment

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Three tribal communities will benefit from federal loan programs aimed at increasing renewable energy projects in rural and tribal communities throughout the country.  

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The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced the first round of funding under its Tribal Electrification Program, awarding $72 million to 21 tribes to connect homes to renewable or zero-emissions energy systems. 

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There was an air of cautious optimism as the Department of Energy convened with tribal, business, and nonprofit leaders during the two-day Tribal Clean Energy Summit last week in Temecula, California.

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The Choctaw Nation and the Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community of the Colusa Rancheria were among 29 awardees for the newest tranche of funding under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

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The Department of Energy announced more than $400 million in funding for renewable energy projects on tribal and rural lands today, including a massive investment that will fund solar, battery storage and hydroelectric projects across 20 states, along with two new funding opportunities for tribes. 

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) posted a notice-of-funding-opportunity on Feb. 20 for federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations to participate in the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant program. 

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The Department of the Interior said it will invest $10 million to modernize Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)-owned irrigation projects and power utilities that serve tribal communities. 

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A federal judge in Seattle has ordered the removal of a segment of Washington’s Electron Dam from the Puyallup River, marking a win for environmental preservation and the protection of endangered species.  The ruling signifies a step toward restoring natural water flow along the river for the first time in nearly a century, environmental and legal advocates say.

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The Department of Agriculture Forest Service will distribute $20 million in grant funding to help tribes access private markets for forest resilience and climate mitigation that have emerged in the wake of climate change. 

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Northern California’s Yurok Tribe drew more than 250 people to its first Tribal Offshore Wind Summit last week with an overarching goal - to help tribes to get a better understanding of a burgeoning sector in clean energy development that could impact traditional sources of food, culture, and income for Native communities.