The Tribal Partnership Program (TPP) provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to utilize TPP to perform water-related planning activities and activities related to the study, design and construction of water resources development projects locate primarily on tribal lands that substantially benefit federally-recognized tribes. Typical problems and opportunities studied under this program are related to flood risk management, water supply, erosion or sedimentation control, ecosystem restoration, watershed planning, cultural resources protection and environmental resources management.
To start the process, a tribe submits a study request to the US. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps evaluates the request, and if viable, the Corps works with the tribe to determine a scope of work and enters into a feasibility cost sharing agreement (FCSA). Following the execution of the FCSA the Corps seeks federal funding for the study.
Once funding is obtained, the Corps initiates a feasibility study where costs are shared with the tribe. The cost share depends on the type of study and the tribe’s per capita income. During the feasibility study phase, the Corps and the tribe identify potential solutions, analyze the costs, benefits and environmental impacts, and develop a recommended project. If a project is deemed feasible the tribe and the Corps must enter into a project partnership agreement (PPA) to obtain funding and move forward with the initiation of the project.
Currently, in the St. Paul District’s TPP there are four feasibility studies underway and five proposed studies.
Current and Proposed Studies
- Prairie Island Indian Community: Sturgeon Lake Ecosystem Restoration. $350,000 received.
- Upper Sioux Community: Minnesota River Bank Stabilization. $120,000 received.
- St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin: Big Sand Lake Shoreline Stabilization. $250,000 received.
- Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate: Little Minnesota River Fish Passage Assessment. $250,000 received.
The St. Paul District is actively developing project proposal with the Red Lake Nation, the Lower Sioux Community, Turtle Mountain, the Ho Chunk Nation and the Lac Courte Oreilles.
The Tribal Partnership Program is authorized by Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (Public Law 106‒541).
Under TPP, FSCAs qualify for a cost share waiver of up to $484,000, and PPAs qualify for an additional waiver of $484,000 off of the tribes cost share. If the tribe’s per capita income is less than two-thirds of the per capita income of the United States. they will qualify for additional cost share reduction.