Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) $915,895 for projects to update and improve the Tribes’ recycling plan, and to focus on practical recycling options that center culturally grounded approaches.
“This critical funding for CTUIR will help ensure the Tribe has the resources it needs to implement its new and improved recycling plan,” said Merkley. “This is an environmental win for the CTUIR community that comes at a critical time for our planet.”
“This federal investment in the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will help the Tribes to move forward with a modern and broader approach to recycling,” Wyden said. “I know from my town hall there earlier this year how hard Tribal members are working to build an even stronger community, and I’m glad the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing this grant to help achieve that goal.”
In his role as the Senate Chair of the Environment and Public Works subcommittee overseeing environmental justice and chemical safety, Merkley has been holding a series of hearings investigating plastic production and pollution, one of which has examined reuse and refill systems.
The grant is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will be used to replace and upgrade recycling equipment, and expand markets for recycled commodities through Tribal community education and recycled materials management.