Tribal Orphaned Wells Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $150 million for Tribal well plugging, remediation and restoration. Tribes may seek grant funding to undertake the well plugging or may request that the Secretary administer the well plugging on behalf of the Tribe, known as “In Lieu of Grant” assistance. The Department awarded over $40 million in grants and In Lieu of Grant assistance during the first phase of funding in 2023 and will distribute the remaining funding over the coming years.

Open Application Period  

The Department invites Federally Recognized Tribes to submit requests for Phase 2 grants and “In Lieu of Grant” assistance according to published guidance (see Resources). Up to $55 million is available for Phase 2 grant awards. A Tribe may apply for either or both types of Phase 2 grants or request In Lieu of Grant assistance, but not both a grant and In Lieu of Grant assistance during this Phase 2 opportunity.

Grants: The Department will accept applications for Program Development Grants and Implementation Grants until 11:59 p.m. ET on May 14, 2024.

Application requirements for the two grant types to be awarded under the current opportunity are detailed in the published guidance:

  1. Tribal Implementation Grants fund plugging, remediation, and reclamation activities, including identification and assessment of orphaned wells on Tribal lands.
  2. Tribal Program Development Grants fund activities to develop and administer a Tribal program to carry out plugging, remediation, and reclamation activities for orphaned wells on Tribal lands including identification and assessment, training, and other capacity-building activities.

Tribes must submit grant applications by the deadline through GrantSolutions except under exceptional circumstances. The Department encourages prospective Tribal applicants to contact the Grants Office ( as soon as possible for assistance with registration in GrantSolutions and gain access to the directed announcement to submit a timely application. (Note: The Phase 2 requirement to apply for grants through GrantSolutions represents a change from Phase 1 requirements to streamline the review and award process. Registration in GrantSolutions does not constitute a commitment to apply for the grants.)

Application aids, including optional templates for required Workplan and Budget Narrative components for grant applications (see Resources) are available as part of the “application kit” under the directed announcement in GrantSolutions. All required forms are included in the “application kit” in GrantSolutions.

In Lieu of Grant Assistance: The Department will accept requests for Phase 2 In Lieu of Grant assistance on a rolling basis through September 30, 2024.

Tribes may request that the Secretary administer and carry out plugging, remediation, and reclamation activities related to eligible orphaned wells on their behalf by submitting their letter of request, according to the published guidance, to the Indian Energy Service Center-Bureau of Indian Affairs (

Technical Assistance Opportunities  

For technical assistance, including questions concerning grant application workplans and technical requirements, In Lieu of Grant requests, and for all activities associated with plugging, remediation, and reclamation of orphaned wells and well sites, contact the Orphaned Wells Program Office’s Tribal Program Division at or (202) 219-3283.

For grants administration (financial) assistance, including downloading application materials, questions about grant requirements, and requests for approval of pre-award costs, contact the Interior Business Center at

Training Webinars and Open Office Hours

The Department will offer weekly “office hours” for all interested and prospective applicants every Wednesday, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. MT, from March 27 through May 8, 2024. All office hour sessions are available on Zoom at Participants requiring accommodations, including translation services, may submit requests in advance to



(subject to change)

Mar 27, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) How to Apply, Forms, Templates, Grant Solution Enrollment
Apr 3, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) In Lieu of Grant (ILOG) Guidance
Apr 10, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) Elements of a Work Plan
Apr 17, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) Orphaned Well Definition and Eligibility
Apr 24, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) Qualifying Lands under this opportunity
May 1, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Historical Preservation Act (NHPA) Compliance
May 8, 2024 01:30 PM (Mountain Time) Orphaned Well Data Reporting Template

Watch the recorded March 27th, 2024, session on “How to Apply, Forms, Templates, Grant Solution Enrollment”. Passcode: ?SsZ1Dgg


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